Northern Devon Healthcare Trust’s chairman has revealed more details about plans to build a new cancer and wellbeing centre in Barnstaple.

A proposed cancer and wellbeing centre is being built at the request of patients, Northern Devon Healthcare Trust has said.

Trust chairman Roger French, said the centre, which is the subject of a brand new £1.5million appeal, will not just be used by cancer patients.

As well as providing support to those being treated for cancer, it will also provide overnight accommodation available for anyone who needs it.

Mr French said: "We are fortunate that nowadays, not everyone who is diagnosed with cancer dies from it.

How the new Over and Above Cancer and Wellbeing Centre will look.How the new Over and Above Cancer and Wellbeing Centre will look.

"As more and more people survive cancer, they tell us they want more support to live with and beyond their diagnosis, and that is what this wellbeing centre will offer.

"Additionally, the other half of the building will offer overnight accommodation, which might be used by a parent with a very sick child who has been admitted to our paediatric ward, so they can stay nearby.

"Having this facility will mean they can stay onsite in a proper bedroom and won't have to worry about travelling home or booking a hotel at what is already a stressful time."

The trust's reponse comes after Gazette readers wrote in asking how the new centre would differ to the services already offered by charities such as North Devon Hospice.

How the new Over and Above Cancer and Wellbeing Centre will look.How the new Over and Above Cancer and Wellbeing Centre will look.

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Mr French said: "North Devon is currently one of the only areas within the South West which does not have a centre like this and our patients have told us they want that to change.

"They have told us they want to be able to access information, advice and support more freely and they have asked for a space away from the clinical environment, where they can be together.

"The centre won't just be for people with a cancer diagnosis, it will be open to all of our patients and their families as a place to receive advice and support. "

Mr French added: "This centre will bring something different and we hope our fellow charities will see this as an opportunity to join forces to deliver the best support for patients in our community.

"We look forward to being able to offer this fantastic new facility, and we hope people will continue to get behind us and support us to make things better for our patients, as they always have."