First patient treated in North Norfolk Macmillan Centre
The first patient to receive her cancer care at the new North Norfolk Macmillan Centre has told of a ‘wonderful environment for patients and staff’ that is closer to home and less crowded than the hospital she normally visits.
Jane Ducker, 65, from Aylsham, was the first patient to walk through the doors of the state-of-the-art cancer centre, where services including a Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Centre and an Acute Oncology Service are opening gradually from this week.
She was coming in for the immunotherapy treatment she receives every three weeks as part of a long-term cancer management plan for renal cancer, taking her place in a treatment chair that, like all the furniture in the centre, had been tested for comfort by a group of patients and clinical staff.
With five providing space to administer lifesaving cancer medication for up to 30 patients a day, plus a chair for the Acute Oncology Service which supports patients with cancer who have complications or symptoms related to their cancer or its treatment. This new facility means the days of lengthy round trips to Norwich are now behind Jane, and many like her.
Those in need of investigations, check-ups and minor operations are also now able to access the care they need closer to home, as three new clinic rooms and two minor procedure rooms make it possible to offer an additional 10,000 outpatient appointments annually.
Jane said: “The new unit is light and bright – what a wonderful environment for patients and staff. From the window, we can even see the birds and squirrels playing in the garden.
“I’ve been treated regularly for about four years and was able to transfer from Norwich to Cromer last year for my immunotherapy where I received treatment in the main Cromer building and now in this new centre. The Weybourne Unit at the N&N Hospital is marvellous but the whole Norwich site is so much busier and more difficult to get to from my home.
“I like being with other patients when I have my treatment as you can laugh with people and help the treatment along. Some might expect a cancer unit to be a sad place, but sharing experiences makes a difference and the treatment is less scary as a result.”
The £4.85million project was designed by LSI Architects and completed in just over a year, with construction work continuing throughout last winter’s lockdown. Funding for the centre has been provided jointly by Macmillan Cancer Support, the Norfolk & Norwich Hospitals Charity, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the Cromer Community and Hospital Friends.
Jane’s visit came ahead of Macmillan Cancer Support’s annual Coffee Morning next Friday, which remains a crucial source of donations for services and projects funded by the charity. It has seen sign-ups drop more than three quarters below average for the second year running and is encouraging the public to host an event whenever and however suits them.
Find out more about Macmillan’s Coffee Morning here: macmillan.org.uk/coffee.
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For further information, please contact:
Talia Samuelson, External Communications Officer (East of England), Macmillan Cancer Support
07703 676493 firstname.lastname@example.org
Janice Bradfield, Head of External Affairs, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
01603 287634 email@example.com
Notes to Editors:
About Macmillan Cancer Support in Norfolk
Every two minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer. In Norfolk, around 6,000 people are diagnosed with cancer each year . There are approximately 35,300 people living with cancer in the county .
At Macmillan, we give people with cancer everything we’ve got. If you’re diagnosed, your worries are our worries. We will move mountains to help you live life as fully as you can. And we don’t stop there. We’re going all out to find ever better ways to help people with cancer, helping to bring forward the day when everyone gets life-transforming support from day one. We’re doing whatever it takes. But without your help we can’t support everyone who needs us. To donate, volunteer, raise money or campaign with us, call 0300 1000 200 or visit macmillan.org.uk.
Macmillan receives no government funding and relies on generous donations from the public. Do something amazing today, donate or volunteer for Macmillan. Visit macmillan.org.uk/getinvolved
About the N&N Hospitals Charity
The N&N Hospitals Charity raises money to support patients, their families and our staff at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which includes the N&N Hospital, Jenny Lind Children’s Hospital and Cromer and District Hospital.
Our funds are used to help provide life-saving and ground-breaking equipment, staff development, research, and enhanced environment and facilities for patients.
The charity has recently helped to fund a new surgical robot, a mobile chemotherapy service, and support for staff caring for patients during the Covid-19 pandemic. To find out more visit www.nnuhcharity.org.uk