The future of cancer care

Joseph Bulmer

Trust unveils plans for purpose-built chemotherapy and day treatment unit at North Devon District Hospital

NORTHERN Devon Healthcare Trust has unveiled a series of artist’s impressions to show how a new purpose-built chemotherapy and day treatment unit at North Devon District Hospital might look.

The internal and external views show potential designs and room layouts, plans that will be developed over time following discussions with patients.

It is hoped the new stand-alone facility, alongside the existing building, will enhance patients’ experience of a wide range of treatments, including intravenous and oral chemotherapy and non-chemotherapy drugs; supporting therapies such as blood transfusions; and non-medical procedures such as post liver and lung biopsy recovery.

The existing unit, staffed by a lead cancer nurse, 10 staff nurses, two healthcare assistants and two receptionists, helps treat more than 200 different types of cancer using more than 50 chemotherapy drugs.

Some can be administered via a simple injection, while others require infusions through a drip and can take several hours. If successful, the appeal will help ensure that patients can receive expert local treatment.

Trust spokesperson Glen Everton said that while the designs were still at an early stage and subject to change, a welcoming, light and spacious treatment room was high up on the wish list.

“The key element is a welcoming treatment room where patients come, often repeatedly and sometimes for long hours,” he said.

“The artist’s impression envisages the room as south-facing, with lots of glass both to catch the light and to enable patients to overlook a landscaped garden.

“Clearly we would need space for nurses and other staff, treatment and consulting rooms, private areas and storage space.

“However, what we aim to do is to talk in depth with patients when developing the designs and layouts, so we end up with something that suits their needs and priorities.

“It will be very interesting to see what patients think and what they would like to see, to make their stays as comfortable as possible at such a difficult time.”