Open for business - new cancer centre accepts first patient
- Credit: Supplied by Macmillan
The first patient to receive cancer care at a new North Norfolk Macmillan Centre has given it her seal of approval.
Jane Ducker, 65, from Aylsham, was the first patient to walk through the doors of the £4.85m centre at Cromer and District Hospital.
The centre's services including information, patient support and acute oncology are opening gradually from this week.
Mrs Ducker said: "The new unit is light and bright - what a wonderful environment for patients and staff.
"From the window, we can even see the birds and squirrels playing in the garden.
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"I like being with other patients when I have my treatment as you can laugh with people and help the treatment along.
"Some might expect a cancer unit to be a sad place, but sharing experiences makes a difference and the treatment is less scary as a result."
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Mrs Ducker was at the centre for immunotherapy treatment which she receives every three weeks as part of a long-term management plan for renal cancer. The treatment takes place in a treatment chair.
The centre has five of the chairs and can cater for up to 30 patients a day, saving many long trips to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital for those who live closer to Cromer.
Mrs Ducker said: “I’ve been treated regularly for about four years and was able to transfer from Norwich to Cromer last year for my immunotherapy where I received treatment in the main Cromer building and now in this new centre.
"The Weybourne unit at the N&N Hospital is marvellous but the whole Norwich site is so much busier and more difficult to get to from my home."
The site also has three new clinic rooms and two minor procedure rooms make it possible to offer an extra 10,000 outpatient appointments including investigations, check-ups and minor operations each year.
The centre has been funded by Macmillan, the Norfolk and Norwich Hospitals Charity, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the Cromer Community and Hospital Friends.
Mrs Ducker's visit came ahead of Macmillan Cancer Support’s annual Coffee Morning, which takes place on Friday, September 24. To find out more visit macmillan.org.uk/coffee.
An opening ceremony for the new centre will take place in October.