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Ipswich Hospital’s Woolverstone Macmillan Centre marks one year of supporting and caring for cancer patients

PUBLISHED: 11:57 16 May 2017 | UPDATED: 11:57 16 May 2017

Ipswich Hospital staff celebrate the first anniversary of the Woolverstone Macmillan Centre.

Ipswich Hospital staff celebrate the first anniversary of the Woolverstone Macmillan Centre.

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Ipswich Hospital’s state-of-the-art cancer centre is offering treatment and care to twice as many patients every day thanks to the transformation of its services.

Gill Heard, left, and Ellen Coldwell help to mark the first anniversary of Ipswich Hospital's Woolverstone Macmillan Centre. It first opened its doors on May 16, 2016.Gill Heard, left, and Ellen Coldwell help to mark the first anniversary of Ipswich Hospital's Woolverstone Macmillan Centre. It first opened its doors on May 16, 2016.

The £4.7million Woolverstone Macmillan Centre, which is marking its one-year anniversary today, was created following a major project to extend and refurbish the existing Woolverstone Wing and bring all outpatient chemotherapy, oncology and haematology day services under one roof. The work was carried out in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support.

Since then, the unit has had a significant impact on patients, who can now receive treatment in modern and bright surroundings which offer the highest standards of privacy and dignity. The additional space also means that families are able to stay with their loved ones to offer support.

Thanks to the additional treatment chairs and consulting rooms, the centre is now seeing twice as many patients each day, in turn helping to reduce waiting times.

Hospital chief executive Nick Hulme said: “The centre cares for somewhere in the region of 500 patients every month, and for every one of those patients the staff here make a real difference to their lives.

“There are three aspects to healthcare – the science, the compassion and the environment – and one without the others doesn’t work. The fact the team here has all three means patients have a place to come for treatment that we are very proud of. It’s not always a happy place, but even at sad times the staff continue to make a huge difference.”

Sharon Austin, operational lead for cancer and pathology, added: “The Woolverstone Macmillan Centre has transformed the care which our cancer patients receive. The extension means we are treating more patients every day, which is bringing down waiting times and helping to prevent overnight admissions, which would sometimes happen in the old unit if a patient’s treatment did not start until later in the day.”

As part of the project, the number of treatment spaces increased from 12 to 30 and 13 new consulting rooms were created so patients can discuss their care with medical staff in private.

Two new private chemotherapy bays were created for those who become ill during treatment, along with quiet rooms, a staff room and a roomy waiting area and themed gardens.

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