WORK has started on a £650,000 building project to provide a Macmillan Information and Support Centre at Southend University Hospital.
The purpose built centre will be open in the New Year and will provide patients, family members and carers with vital information and support when they need it most.
Southend University Hospital provides chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment to patients with cancer in south Essex acting as a ‘hub’ for cancer treatment in the area. Despite this there are no formal facilities offering cancer information and support.
The Trust and Macmillan Cancer Support were approached by two former patients expressing a need for an information area similar to that provided at Basildon Hospital.
Michelle Bath, Macmillan Development Manager, said: “Every day 19 people in Essex hear the news they have cancer, and 10 people die from the illness. This number is set to rise, so by 2030 the number of people living with or beyond cancer in Essex will fill Southend United’s Roots Hall stadium over eight times.
“We believe no one should face cancer alone and we hope having facilities like this new centre will go a long way to making that a reality for the local people here in Southend.”
The funds for the new centre have been met by Macmillan Cancer Support and by Southend Hospital Charitable Foundation.
Designed by experts in developing cancer centres and with extensive patient involvement, the centre will provide a holistic service in a calm and non-clinical environment.
Attending the official start of work ceremony was Chief Executive of Southend University Hospital, Jacqueline Totterdell, who said: “We are delighted to see work start on this vital resource which will truly complement the service Southend University Hospital currently provides to patients with cancer across South Essex as a centre of excellence.
Feedback from our patients has shown that having an area which formally provides information and support for people affected by cancer and their families will be tremendously beneficial in helping them deal with what can be a distressing and emotional time. So it is really fantastic that we have been able to work together with them, Macmillan and Southend Hospital Charity to make their wish a reality.”
The cost of the new centre is £649,573. £519,573 will be met by Macmillan Cancer Support and £130,000 will be met by Southend Hospital Charitable Foundation.