Doors open at Ipswich Hospital’s new £4.7million cancer unit
- Credit: Andy Abbott
Just 18 months after the fundraising quest was set in motion, Ipswich Hospital’s new cancer unit today opens its doors for the first time.
The £4.7million Woolverstone Macmillan Centre is set to welcome the patients and staff who originally dreamt of bringing cancer services together in one world-class location.
The landmark will be celebrated first with the cutting of a ribbon – and then a cake – as visitors get to explore the centre’s state-of-the-art surrounds. The vision for a revamped Woolverstone Wing was born seven years ago, when a group of staff, volunteers, patients and their loved-ones formed Woolverstone Wish group.
Within five years, they had raised £800,000 to refurbish the hospital’s cancer unit – at which point, Macmillan Cancer Support identified the opportunity to build an entirely new multimillion pound treatment centre.
The Woolverstone Wish group joined forces with Ipswich Hospital to contribute £1m – launching an appeal in November 2014 to raise the remaining £3.7m.
Now a third of the way towards their final target, campaigners are beginning to see their dream realised in the hospital’s new home of outpatient chemotherapy, oncology and haematology day services.
Amanda Jordan, area fundraising manager for Suffolk and Norfolk at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “It is heart-warming to see the new Woolverstone Macmillan Centre finally opening its doors to patients and staff. They have been at the centre of the dream for a new cancer centre since its humble beginnings more than seven years ago, so it’s only fitting that they are at the heart of celebrations today.
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“It’s important to remember, though, that the journey isn’t over yet. We still have a long way to go to reach our target of £3.7m, so while this is a huge achievement, we certainly can’t rest on our laurels. We are urging the people of Suffolk to keep digging deep for the Woolverstone Macmillan Centre appeal – your support is paramount to us reaching our goal.”
Building work began last September, involving the complete refurbishment of the existing Woolverstone Wing and a considerable extension.
The centre features a spacious waiting room, several consulting rooms and 30 treatment chairs – including private bays – set in a bright, airy, non-clinical space with plenty of room for visitors.
Treatment capacity will more than double, and there is a renewed focus on patient wellbeing, with artwork and three new gardens inspired by the landscapes of Suffolk. Staff will also be able to enjoy a dedicated break room to relax and refresh between shifts.
Nick Hulme, Chief Executive of Ipswich Hospital, said: “Today is only possible because of the passion of the group of staff and patients who came together and raised £1m. This amazing achievement meant that we could join forces with national cancer charity Macmillan and launch a joint fundraising appeal.”
Anyone wishing to support the Woolverstone Macmillan Centre appeal can call Macmillan on 0300 1000 200 or visit the special Woolverstone Macmillan Centre appeal page at macmillan.org.uk/ipswich.