New regional cancer centre for children opened this week

Haematology and Oncology Centre
23 May 2018

A brand new cancer centre opened in Sheffield this week (21 May), giving children and young people from across the region high quality care in a spacious state-of-the-art facility.

The centre at Sheffield Children’s Hospital will help children with cancers, tumours and blood conditions from across South Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and North Derbyshire.

It has been designed with input from parents, patients, clinicians and social workers for the best possible medical and emotional care. It has three times the clinic space of the previous facility and five times the treatment space.

The unit was fundraised for by the Parents Association of Children with Tumours and Leukaemia (PACT) and will be officially known as the PACT and Westfield Health Oncology and Haematology Centre, in recognition of a £200,000 donation from the Westfield Health Charitable Trust which completed the fundraising appeal.

Max Davies, aged 11, has been treated for five years at Sheffield Children’s for Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He said: “It will be brighter and the views from the new clinic are also nicer.”

Max’s mum Sarah, who has helped fundraise £25,000 for the new unit, added: “You are going through a scary treatment, but this makes it more welcoming. It’s beautiful, colourful and exciting for kids. It is going to make them much happier. Seeing this place gives you a great sense of pride. It’s marvellous!”

Improving the experience for patients and families

The new facility will give patients and families the space to move about and more privacy, while inspiring views over Weston Park will be a great help as families can be regular users of the clinic for up to three years.

The Children’s Hospital Charity’s arts programme, Artfelt, commissioned Australian artist Leah Bartholomew to create a beautiful art scheme inspired by the park. Artfelt also oversaw the installation of an interactive, digital wall in the waiting area which provides distraction to patients by playfully responding to their movements and changing colour to match their clothing.

Dr Dan Yeomanson, Consultant Paediatric and TYA (Teenager and Young Adult) Oncologist, said: “A massive thank you to all the donors, both corporate and individuals, who have made this project possible. As well as the obvious improvement in outpatient facilities, bringing all outpatient and daycase activity together will also significantly improve the inpatient experience.”

The new unit has been developed right next to the inpatient unit for haematology and oncology, which means that daycare patients can be rapidly transferred if their condition changes, and gives improved access to support services for all patients.

It is also self-contained with its own access, which means that patients will be separate from the rest of the hospital and there will be less risk of picking up infections from other hospital patients – which is always a concern for immuno-suppressed cancer patients.

Thanks to the support of the community, £800,000 was raised to develop the new unit.

Launch party

PACT marked the unit’s completion on Saturday 12 May with a party for patients and parents who have needed care for cancers, tumours and blood conditions at Sheffield Children’s.

Sheila McGovern, PACT Chair, said: “We are a small charity so this was a huge undertaking, but we knew we had the passion and the determination to make it happen. The families and friends of PACT were eager to meet the challenge and raised the money in record time.

“The clinic has exceeded all our expectations. We know that everyone who worked on it put that extra bit of heart into it – you can feel that when you look around the space.

“The clinic is a true legacy to the spirit of everything PACT and its supporters are committed to. Everyone is so proud of the facilities it offers and we thank you all for your help.”

The opening of the new cancer centre follows only weeks behind the opening of new inpatient wards, dining areas, play rooms, teen rooms and other facilities at Sheffield Children’s Hospital. Families moved over to the new wards on Saturday 21 April, following the completion of a £40million redevelopment programme.

 

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