A new, world class chemotherapy unit is to be built at Burnley General Hospital with half of its price tag to be met by charity the Rosemere Cancer Foundation.
It has made a pledge to East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, which manages Burnley General Hospital, that it will guarantee to raise £100,000 towards the £200,000 total cost of the unit through a public appeal. It means that plans already drawn up by East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, which will contribute the rest of the money, can be put out to immediate tender.
The new unit should be ready to welcome its first patients by next spring. It will be situated within the main hospital, adjacent to the Casterton Avenue entrance, and will have its own dedicated parking area.
Inside, it will be totally patient-focused, designed to ensure a comfortable and relaxing environment to help bring about the most positive treatment outcomes.
Once up and running, the new unit will replace the hospital’s current, much smaller chemotherapy suite. Although it provides an excellent level of patient care, it is tucked away to the back of the hospital, which can make it difficult to find. There is also no room for expansion or additional, updated facilities.
Sue Thompson, Rosemere’s Chief Officer, said: “When we learned about the plans for the new unit, we had no hesitation but to offer our support.
We will have not only the room to look after all our local patients for the foreseeable future, we will also be able to do so in a facility that is second to noneDeborah Sullivan, Cancer Nurse
“There is a lot of documented medical research showing that the environment in which cancer patients are treated can have a significant impact on outcome and those that receive treatment in centres designed specifically around their needs, such as the new unit planned for Burnley, tend to experience more positive results.
“We already have a lot of supporters in Burnley and its immediate surrounding areas and I am confident they will come forward to help us raise this money and encourage others to join us in our Rosemere Burnley Chemotherapy Unit Appeal.”
The trust’s Business Manager for Cancer Services, Juliette Brookfield, said: “We are very grateful to Rosemere Cancer Foundation for committing to this project. In drawing up the plans for the new unit, we have consulted with current patients, our consultants, doctors and nursing team.
“One of our main concerns was that our current unit was becoming too small to meet demand.”
Deborah Sullivan, East Lancashire Hospitals Trust’s Macmillian Lead Cancer Nurse, added: “Around 4,000 chemotherapy treatments are now delivered annually at Burnley General but this is a figure that increases year on year. With improving cancer care and an ageing population, our concern was that in the not too distant future, we would reach capacity and have to turn local patients away, referring them instead to other hospitals further afield.
“This is the last thing anyone wanted. Now, with the new unit, we will have not only the room to look after all our local patients for the foreseeable future, we will also be able to do so in a facility that is second to none.”
The Rosemere Burnley Chemotherapy Unit Appeal will be headed by the charity’s East Lancs fund-raising co-ordinator Dan Hill.
Dan, who lives locally and is married with two young daughters, said: “With the unveiling of the plans for the new unit comes the launch of the appeal. It is up and running as of now.
“We are planning some exciting and fun local events, which we hope will encourage people of all ages to get on board with the appeal.
“We will announce them over the coming weeks but in the meantime, I would be delighted to hear from anyone who has their own ideas for supporting the appeal or would like to volunteer their help in any way.”
To contact Dan, call 01772 528346. This same number, along with 01772 522913, can be used to make a donation.
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