New Chemotherapy Unit Opens

29 September 2010, 05:31 | Updated: 29 September 2010, 14:37

An improved chemotherapy unit is officially being opened for cancer patients in Hertfordshire today (Wednesday 29th September).

£1.43 million has been spent refurbishing Mount Vernon Cancer Centre for patients who are undergoing chemotherapy treatment as well as medical trials.

Organisations and members of the public spent the last two years raising the funds – which ranged for £1 to £500,000 donations.

Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment now have access to:

•  An area, comprising 19 treatment chairs and two beds, for treating up to six patients taking part in clinical trials and a maximum of 15 receiving standard chemotherapy;
•  Three consulting rooms for the examination of patients, undertaking clinical procedures, follow-up appointments and private discussions with patients and/or their families or carers;
•  A room for minor procedures, such as the insertion of central lines;
•  One counselling room for consultations that may involve breaking distressing news to patients
•  Two preparation areas for laying up trolleys for phlebotomy and chemotherapy administration, as well as checking drugs;
•  More space for research nurses who are monitoring patients taking part in clinical trials;
•  Better facilities for research data and sample processing;
•  Enlargement of the waiting room area to accommodate the increasing numbers of patients using the facility, along with their relatives and/or carers – including views of, and access to, newly landscaped gardens;
•  General upgrades to the building fabric.

The Trust’s chief executive, Nick Carver, told Heart:

“From its initial beginnings several years ago, this project has been championed by staff and patients at the cancer centre.  It’s now been open for around eight months and it is clear that the work carried out by our staff in the unit is of vital importance to so many people.  The new state-of-the-art facilities bring great benefit to everyone – both patients and our staff."

Professor Gordon Rustin, director of medical oncology at Mount Vernon, who spearheaded the plans to develop its chemotherapy trial facilities, said:

“I am so grateful to all those who have helped us raise the money – over £1.5 million – so we can offer clinical trials to more of our patients and make it far more efficient for patients and staff.  Particular thanks go to the former CTRT Appeal committee and its members, who were so often at the heart of those fundraising efforts.“