Fernhurst Centre wins national cancer-care award

A CENTRE for patients with cancer and haematology disorders has been recognised for excellence in patient care.

The Fernhurst Centre, at St Richard’s Hospital, has been awarded the Macmillan Quality Environment Mark, a prestigious honour given to units judged to offer the best standards of care and treatment to cancer patients.

The honour was given to some of the staff whose work has been instrumental in making the centre a success – consultant haematologist Dr Phil Bevan, sister Katie Kimber and Macmillan information and support services manager Helen Fowler.

“This award is a welcome recognition of how the Fernhurst Centre, and the staff working there, have been able to improve services for patients,” said Dr Bevan.

“The experience of our patients now is significantly better than in the past – services are in one place at the hospital and the growing range of services available means fewer people have to travel for appointments and treatments. The Fernhurst Centre has allowed us to transform haematology and cancer care.”

The centre was opened in 2009 thanks to a £4million fundraising drive by the community.

It brought together a range of services under one roof which used to be dispersed across the hospital.

As well as offering a one-stop centre for cancer and haematology day care, the centre also houses an aseptic pharmacy, where chemotherapy treatments are prepared.

The latest significant step forward came in May when clinical teams based at the Fernhurst Centre began providing a second weekly chemotherapy clinic, doubling the capacity for people in the area to receive the treatment close to home, rather than having to travel to Portsmouth.

Rebecca Hawkins, Macmillan development manager for Sussex, said: “This award reflects the hard work and dedication of the team that designed the centre and all the staff and volunteers who work to make it a welcoming and supportive environment for patients and their families.

“To receive the award, environments have to score highly in areas such as use of space, comfort and atmosphere, personal and social interaction and health and wellbeing.

“Consideration is given to such things as the greeting people receive when they come to a centre, the use of natural light and outdoor space, and the availability of quiet, private rooms.

“These were all areas that were highlighted as really important by people living with cancer who helped develop the award.”