New cancer centre is welcoming patients

Barbara Wise with staff
Barbara Wise with staff

A new cancer unit has welcomed its first patients.

The new centre at Lister Hospital in Stevenage, which has been funded jointly by Macmillan Cancer Support and the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, has doubled the chemotherapy capacity of the hospital’s previous unit.

The new building will reduce overcrowding and contains a dedicated information and support centre for patients and families, as well as two gardens for patients to relax in while undergoing treatment.

Margaret Pike, 78, was one of the first patients to be treated at The Lister Macmillan Cancer Centre. She said: “The old unit was a long walk from the main entrance and I struggled to get back and forth for appointments. The unit was cramped and I couldn’t always get a seat in the waiting room.

“The new unit is so much better. My first impression is of a more spacious unit that is very bright and has lots of comfortable chairs.”

The new centre provides more working areas for Lister nurses and other clinical staff to prepare drugs, improving efficiency and reducing waiting times, a greater number of consultation rooms to allow patients more privacy and consistent access to a team of Macmillan welfare benefits advisors who can help patients with their financial worries.

Alex Gallagher, Macmillan’s quality and service improvement manager at the Lister, said: “This project has been some time in the planning, fundraising and building so I’m delighted to see it all come together today in the opening of the brand new centre.

“Our aim all along has been to provide patients with the best possible environment for their cancer care so it’s fantastic to see patients in the new centre and hear their feedback on the improvements this build has made.”

The centre cost £3m.