Cancer care for patients at East Surrey Hospital will be transformed under plans approved for a new £1.5 million Macmillan Cancer Support Centre to be managed by Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust.
A planning application approved by Reigate and Banstead Borough Council reveals plans to build a state-of-the-art support centre, which will provide specialist help for cancer patients in a friendly, non-clinical environment. The East Surrey Macmillan Cancer Support Centre will provide a range of services including:
- information and advice on coping with cancer and its treatment
- counselling services
- financial advice and support
- complementary therapies
- cancer support groups
- a range of classes to support those during and after treatment
The new centre, due for completion by the end of 2015, will put an end to the added stress on cancer patients who have to take at least a 20-mile round trip to the nearest cancer support centre in Crawley, or even further afield to Guildford or Purley.
Patient Gill Burch (53), from Redhill, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in February, is a regular visitor to East Surrey Hospital for treatment. “When I started treatment I just wasn’t well enough to travel to Crawley for that extra information and support. I couldn’t feel my feet and my eyes would not stop watering. If the centre had been at Redhill it would have been possible.”
Says Jane Penny, Macmillan Lead Cancer Nurse at East Surrey: “We have a fantastic team here at East Surrey Hospital and the centre will complement the work we do to provide information and support for our patients with cancer. We do our best as nursing staff and we recognise that demand is growing all the time – this additional help is very welcome.”
Jane adds: “I am already excited about the opening day. It is something we have wanted at East Surrey Hospital for a long time – and it will be amazing to bring patients through the front door for the first time.”
Michael Wilson, Chief Executive of Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, says:“Last year, around 2,000 members of the community served by our Trust were diagnosed with cancer or had a recurrence of the disease. The demands on cancer care are only going to increase as we open additional services to meet the need, such as St Luke’s Radiotherapy Unit which we opened in July. Getting the green light for the cancer centre is brilliant news for our patients and the Trust. It enables the Trust to offer a more holistic care package for our patients with cancer, in a place that’s more convenient for them.”
Some of the support services at East Surrey Macmillan Cancer Support Centre will be provided and run by The Olive Tree Cancer and Support Centre, which has successfully run services in Crawley for 25 years.
Deepa Doshi, Macmillan Cancer Support’s Development Manager Surrey, says: “Cancer patients are living so much longer after their diagnosis than they did 30 years ago, which is fantastic news. More people living with cancer locally means we need to plan more services and make them more personalised. We are delighted to be working with the Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust to develop a modern cancer support centre that will enhance the delivery of the best possible cancer care to the heart of the community and ensure that patients are not facing cancer alone.”
Macmillan Cancer Support is soon to launch a major fundraising campaign to raise the £1.5 million for the new centre.