Have your say on the future of breast unit

PUBLISHED: 11:04 09 February 2006 | UPDATED: 09:35 06 May 2010

The Breast Cancer Unit

The Breast Cancer Unit

SHOULD breast cancer care, currently located at Lister Hospital, move to a dedicated unit at the QEII Hospital in Welwyn Garden City? That is the question being asked by the NHS during its public consultation about the future of breast cancer care in Stev

Campaigner Vicki Adkins

SHOULD breast cancer care, currently located at Lister Hospital, move to a dedicated unit at the QEII Hospital in Welwyn Garden City?

That is the question being asked by the NHS during its public consultation about the future of breast cancer care in Stevenage and North Hertfordshire.

Your responses to the consultation, which ends next Monday, February 13, will be taken into consideration when North Hertfordshire and Stevenage Primary Care Trust and East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust make their decision.

The proposal is to move the breast outpatient and diagnostic services at the Lister to the new breast cancer unit at the QEII.

Sue Plummer

At present women in Comet country referred by their GP to Lister Hospital are being looked after in less than ideal surroundings.

There is only a small waiting area which runs along a corridor, it isn't big enough and it is close to another mixed waiting room where children play.

If a patient is told she has breast cancer she has to walk from the breast care room back out through people in the waiting room. There is nowhere for her to digest the news.

Sue Plummer, lead nurse for cancer, said: "The waiting area can get very noisy and that can affect the women who come here who are obviously very anxious.

"Staff here are excellent but the issue here is privacy and dignity - or the lack of it. The environment at the new unit will be much better.

"Breast cancer patients we have spoken to are very positive about the new unit."

The £2.4 million unit in Welwyn Garden City will have waiting rooms and sub waiting rooms, two counselling rooms and a resource room where women can do research into their condition if they want to.

The unit will focus on diagnostics (the test carried out before and during treatment). Chemotherapy and radiotherapy will be done on the wards.

The unit, which will open in the spring, has been funded by the NHS but it will be kitted out with equipment bought with money raised by the Hertfordshire Breast Unit Appeal which was started by a former patient in 1998.

The new unit is large enough to deal with the extra patients from the Lister.

* What do you think? Email consultation@nhst-pct.nhs.uk or call 01462 708470.

You can also post your views to us at www.thecomet.net

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