New £3.25million 'world class' cancer centre opens doors to patients
PUBLISHED: 12:51 12 November 2019 | UPDATED: 12:51 12 November 2019
Patients are being treated for the first time at a new state-of-the-art cancer centre after a successful five-year fundraising campaign for the £3.25million unit.
Health chiefs say the Collingwood Centre at Colchester Hospital will transform and improve patient care for people living with cancer in north Essex.
Nick Hulme, chief executive of East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT), which runs Colchester Hospital, said: "We are so very grateful to all the people who have given generously and fundraised tirelessly to help us build the Collingwood Centre.
"It is so important when giving care, particularly to patients receiving regular treatment, that the environment is a calming and comfortable one. This is what we have now - a fantastic unit not only for our patients, but for our staff to work in too."
One of the first people to receive treatment at the unit was Roger Sharman, 75, of Ardleigh. He was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in March 2016 and receives chemotherapy and immunotherapy alternately every two weeks at the hospital.
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Mr Sharman said: "I'm impressed, it looks really good. It's bright and spacious. Where we were before was getting a little bit dated so this is a fresh start and it will mean a lot to the staff, too.
The centre is modern, comfortable and welcoming, providing a hugely better experience for patients, families and carers. It replaces the now merged Mary Barron Suite and Haematology Day Unit.
Caroline Bates, Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals Charity's head of fundraising, said: "We want to thank everyone who has supported the campaign to build the Collingwood Centre over the last five years, gifts large and small have helped make the vision of a world-class centre a reality.
"We are looking forward to opening the Cancer Wellbeing Centre next month, then we will have achieved everything we set out to do. Together we have made a big difference to cancer care for our community."
The Collingwood Centre brings radiotherapy, chemotherapy and haematology under one roof for the first time at Colchester Hospital.
Work is also nearing completion on the Cancer Wellbeing Centre which will provide counselling, support services and holistic therapies in conjunction with the Collingwood Centre.