Patients to get treated at home

CANCER patients in East Suffolk are to be the first in the UK to have chemotherapy in their own homes.A new scheme at Ipswich Hospital, being launched today, means that the cancer treatment can be taken to patients in the community rather than them having to travel to hospital.

CANCER patients in East Suffolk are to be the first in the UK to have chemotherapy in their own homes.

A new scheme at Ipswich Hospital, being launched today, means that the cancer treatment can be taken to patients in the community rather than them having to travel to hospital.

Some patients were having to travel around 30 miles for treatment but now it will be available in community hospitals and GP surgeries as well as at home.

Jo Herriott, chemotherapy outreach nurse specialist, leads the programme, which has been funded by national cancer monies and the Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust.

She said: "We now have 25 people receiving chemotherapy in Aldeburgh Community Hospital, Violet Hill Health Centre in Stowmarket and Orwell Road Health Centre in Felixstowe."

A new service is also being launched in Hadleigh.

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Ms Herriot was ward sister of the hospital's specialist cancer in-patient centre, Somersham Ward, for three years before taking up her new role in May.

Patients receiving chemotherapy were asked to list five places where they would ideally like to have their treatment.

Ms Herriot said: "The results of the survey strongly supported providing chemotherapy and blood-related products in the community and the vast majority or people considered distance to travel and convenience to be the most important reason for choosing a community setting."

Now the pioneering scheme has been launched it is hoped to be able to expand it further, with more senior nurse specialists so more patients will be given the chance to have chemotherapy closer to home.

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