Wiltshire cancer patients may no longer have to travel to the Great Western Hospital in Swindon for chemotherapy treatment, thanks to a new state-of-the-art mobile chemotherapy unit, which will provide the same treatment much closer to home.
From March next year the mobile chemotherapy unit will be based at Savernake Hospital in Marlborough every Thursday and Malmesbury Primary Care Centre on Fridays treating up to 12 patients a week.
Funded by national cancer charity Hope for Tomorrow, the £260,000 unit is one of only four in the country. In a unique partnership, the charity owns and maintains the unit and nurses from the Great Western Hospital’s Day Therapy Centre will administer the chemotherapy.
Lyndel Moore, lead chemotherapy nurse at the Great Western Hospital, said: “We are very grateful to Hope for Tomorrow for providing this fantastic facility which will make a real difference to our patients who live outside of Swindon. It will reduce the time many patients and their families spend travelling from Malmesbury and from Marlborough for treatment, which can be tiring and costly.”
Patients under the care of the Great Western Hospital, whose treatment meets the criteria, will be offered the option of receiving their treatment on the unit.
Jonathan Scott has been travelling some distance from his home near Marlborough to the hospital for chemotherapy every three weeks since August. He said: “Having to travel a distance home after chemotherapy treatment can be exhausting. The unit is especially great news for patients with longer courses of treatment than mine. Although the treatment at the hospital is outstanding, having the option of treatment closer to home will make life much easier for many patients.”
Christine Mills MBE, founder and trustee of charity Hope for Tomorrow, said: “We are delighted to add Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to our growing number of mobile chemotherapyunits operating in the South West and to know that patients in the Marlborough and Malmesbury districts will benefit from having their cancer treatment much closer to home.”
Maggie Rae, corporate director of publichealth and public protection, NHS Wiltshire and Wiltshire Council,said: “We are delighted that Hope for Tomorrow has been able to provide a mobile chemotherapy unit for Wiltshire, and that we have been able to contribute to getting it launched by Great Western Hospital. Bringing safe and effective treatment closer to home is a key objective for our work in cancer, and the Unit is a significant advance in this area.”