It’s official: New £3m cancer centre opens its doors at Stevenage’s Lister Hospital
- Credit: Archant
£300,000 still needs to be raise to pay for state of the art unit
A snip of the scissors from a patient who knows only too well just what has been achieved set the seal on Friday’s opening of the new cancer centre at Stevenage’s Lister Hospital.
But as the applause echoed around the unit’s landscaped garden, organisers of the £1.5 million charity appeal to fund the new facilities stressed that there was still work to be done.
Although £1.2m has been raised, that still leaves a £300,000 funding gap for the centre, which has doubled the Lister’s chemotherapy capacity and also features a dedicated information and support centre for patients and families.
Patients, staff and local supporters were on hand to see the official opening of the £3m centre, funded jointly by Macmillan Cancer Support and the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, which treated its first patients in June.
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The ribbon was cut by Stevenage patient Tracey Oliver, who has been treated for cancer at the Lister for the past seven years and who also took part in last year’s groundbreaking ceremony on the site.
She said: “The new centre is a huge improvement on the old Forster Suite.
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“It is so much bigger – from the waiting room to the treatment area and even the number of toilets.
“As well as being bigger, the treatment area is much more private. In the old unit people could see the treatment seats from the waiting area which made you feel like you were constantly on view.
“The new unit is so much brighter, too. The old unit felt very cramped and I think it was quite stressful for the staff to be working in such difficult conditions.
“In the new unit both staff and patients are much more relaxed.”
Macmillan Cancer Support general manager Carol Fenton said: “We’re thrilled at the response from individuals, businesses and other supporters as we seek to raise £1.5 million by the end of the year. It shows what can be done when we all work together.
“Patients are already saying that the new centre is making a huge difference to their experience of being treated here.”
Trust chief executive Nick Carver said: “Improving the quality of our cancer services, as well as making them more accessible to the people of Hertfordshire, is one of the trust’s key strategic objectives.
“We now have a fantastic cancer centre at the Lister, the quality of which matches the great care that our staff have always provided to their patients.”
Around 1,500 people are diagnosed with cancer every year across East and North Herts, and there are a further 10,000 people in the region already live with cancer.
For more on the centre and how to donate to the appeal, call 0300 1000 200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For cancer support call Macmillan on 0808 808 00 00 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or visit macmillan.org.uk