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Donations Transform Hospital’s Chemotherapy Outpatient Unit

Published on: 26 May, 2021
Updated on: 26 May, 2021

The Royal Surrey County Hospital’s chemotherapy outpatient unit has been transformed in a stunning refurbishment, complete with flower murals and a refreshments area.

And it’s all thanks to generous charity donations, said a spokesperson for the hospital.

Part of the makeover in the Chilworth chemotherapy unit with a tree mural in the entrance.

The Chilworth unit, within the St Luke’s Cancer Centre at the hospital, treats about 500 chemotherapy outpatients a week, some of whom spend up to eight hours a day receiving their intravenous chemotherapy medicine and attend the unit for many years. Putting patients’ wellbeing was a top priority for staff who listened to feedback and came up with some creative ways to make the ward more welcoming and less clinical.

The makeover includes beautiful flower murals in each of the unit’s five bays and a tree canopy frieze in the entrance. The former nurses’ station is now a refreshments area and patients can help themselves to hot and cold drinks and snacks.

Emma Masters, lead chemotherapy nurse for St Luke’s Cancer Centre, said: “We wanted to break up the monotony and make the experience as pleasant and relaxing as it can be for our patients.”

Patient in the Chilworth chemotherapy unit in the Royal Surrey County Hospital. Some patients spend eight hours a day being treated and attend for many years.

Patients on the ward are very enthusiastic about the makeover. Sue Bateman, 67, who has secondary breast cancer, said: “I’ve been coming here for a long time and I’m amazed at the difference the beautiful murals make. The leaf patterns on the window when you arrive are lovely. The new hot drinks area is much appreciated, too. I’m a big fan of St Luke’s and Chilworth. I couldn’t be in a better place.”

Angela Vaz, 59, who first started treatment 18 years ago and has secondary breast cancer, said: “I look forward to my visit in a funny sort of way. The flower murals make you feel uplifted, the chairs are very comfortable, I’ve got to know the staff really well and the atmosphere is just lovely. I spend about four hours on the ward, two weeks out of three and it feels like a home from home for me.”

Oncology matron Sarah Etherington said “We are very fortunate because patients and their families have made generous donations and left legacies to the ward, via the Royal Surrey Charity. The donations go into a pot to help us make brilliant changes such as these.”

Intrepid members of staff in the unit are also planning a sponsored sky-dive in order to buy additional reclining chairs for the unit. You can donate on their webpage here. and say you would like your donation to go towards the reclining chairs.

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