Albert Evans

David Dimbleby opens Guy’s Hospital cancer day unit

Broadcaster David Dimbleby last week opened a new cancer care centre at Guy's Hospital in what is hoped to be an example of patient-hospital collaboration.

Sir William Wells, David Dimbleby,  Arnie Purushot
Sir William Wells, David Dimbleby, Arnie Purushotham

The centre that provides chemotherapy and after-care for cancer patients has had a £3.9 million refurbishment funded by the Guy's and St Thomas' Charity.

The new facilities on offer include an assessment unit which allows chemotherapy patients to bypass A&E should they fall ill, redesigned smaller rooms which give greater privacy and treatment alongside patients suffering similar problems allowing them to share experiences.

Due to patients having to spend extended periods of time at the centre it also has a coffee lounge, internet cafe, a pharmacy and a free on-site support service called HeadStrong run in partnership with Breast Cancer Care.

Patients, carers and staff were all consulted throughout the process. One of the patients, Anna Torode, said: "I am delighted that patients have been able to contribute so significantly to the design of this wonderful new unit."

Nurse Rachel Mackie said: "The ward is now a lot calmer and quieter now."

The Dimbleby family are long term supporters of cancer services at both Guy's Hospital and St Thomas' Hospital, where the Richard Dimbleby Cancer Information and Support Service, in memory of David Dimbleby's late father, is based.

David Dimbleby said: "We are not involved in the treatment itself but more in the support afterwards…one of the first things we did was to put a lounge with some chairs in the basement downstairs. This ward takes that idea one step further."

Involved in the process were artists Heather Barnett and Will Holloway who produced works in response to the patients' experiences. These works now decorate the ward.

Professor Arnie Purushotham, director of King's Health Partners Integrated Cancer Centre, said: "There is growing evidence to show the benefit for patients when they receive their treatment in a calm and well designed patient focused environment."

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