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16 June 2011, 12:22
Patients at Southampton's teaching hospitals are among the first in the south to have access to a dedicated cancer emergency department.
The Macmillan acute oncology service at Southampton General Hospital, which launches on Friday 17th June, will see people who need urgent admission as a result of their cancer, suspected cancer or treatment avoid the main emergency department for a new four-bed unit next door.
As part of the initiative, developed by Macmillan Cancer Support and Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust, cancer teams will work with all departments to ensure anyone who has a cancer diagnosis or suspected cancer but is admitted for another reason is seen by a specialist within 24 hours.
“We are leading the way for patients in the South Coast Cancer Network with this service, which will give people with cancer easier access to the necessary specialists and speed up the admission process,” said Vicki Havercroft, Macmillan team leader at Southampton General.
“It is going to be a new way of working for the hospital and will mean we are much more joined-up in the way that we care for people with cancer, so we are extremely grateful for the support of Macmillan in funding this project for the first two years.”
Fran Williams, Macmillan development manager, said: “The service in Southampton is the first Macmillan has funded in central and south west England, so we will be working with the team to ensure that we learn from their experiences.
“I know that Vicki and the team will be doing all they can to make sure that people with cancer are given the best possible treatment and care when they are at Southampton General Hospital.”