Chemo boost for Burnley General Hospital

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Cancer patients in Burnley and beyond have been given a huge boost with the opening of a specialist unit at Burnley General Teaching Hospital.

The £750,000 Primrose Chemotherapy Suite and East Lancashire Breast Clinic, located in the hospital’s Edith Watson building, will dramatically improve the treatment and care experience for patients.

Partially paid for by £116,000 in public donations following a hugely successful fund-raising campaign organised by Rosemere Cancer Foundation, the chemotherapy and breast care suites are far more spacious than previous facilities, enabling staff to create a calming, relaxed atmosphere enhanced by natural light with views to Pendle Hill.

The new facilities are the latest development to open as part of an ongoing £18.1m investment in facilities at Burnley General Teaching Hospital.

East Lancashire Hospitals Trust chief executive Kevin McGee said: “The new chemotherapy and breast care units at Burnley General build on the Trust’s already excellent reputation for cancer treatment.

“These fantastic new facilities mean we are able to treat more patients, reduce waiting times for chemotherapy and speed up diagnosis, as well as provide care closer to patients’ homes.

“I want to thank the many people, businesses and charities for their incredible support, and give a special mention to Rosemere Cancer Foundation.”

Other leading supporters who helped make the new facilities possible include the Burnley General Hospital League of Volunteers who have fundraised tirelessly over the past 18 months.

The new Suite increases the Trust’s capacity for chemotherapy treatment by 29% and aims to offer chemotherapy within five days of referral.

The suite features a large seated observation lounge, four extra treatment rooms, a sensory room, counselling room and its own reception and waiting area.

Brownies from Accrington ring the old Burnley Workhouse bell to signal the opening of the new chemo unit

Brownies from Accrington ring the old Burnley Workhouse bell to signal the opening of the new chemo unit

In addition, Rosemere Cancer Foundation provided £5,000 to help create the Sunflower prosthetics fitting room where a selection of prosthetic fashions to suit all budgets can be viewed.

Both the ‘Bluebell’ and ‘Sunflower’ rooms have been named in recognition of the two conservatories located in the hospitals’ general outpatients that were funded by donations from local women Lynn Nestor and Deborah Butterworth.

Sister Angela Holden, unit manager, said: “Swift diagnosis and treatment help reduce the anxiety experienced by patients and the devastating impact that cancer can have on individuals and families."

See Friday's Burnley Express for a special feature and more photographs on the new unit.