Hospital launches south's first cancer emergency unit

Southampton General Hospital

Cancer patients at Southampton’s teaching hospitals are among the first in the south to have access to a dedicated emergency assessment unit.

The Macmillan acute oncology service at Southampton General Hospital will see patients already known to the team who require urgent admission as a result of their cancer, treatment or its side-effects avoid the main emergency department for a new four-bed unit situated next door.

As part of the initiative, developed by Macmillan Cancer Support and Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust, cancer teams will also work closely with all departments to ensure anyone in hospital who has a cancer diagnosis or suspected cancer but is admitted for another reason is seen by a specialist within 24 hours.

“We are leading the way for patients in the South Coast Cancer Network with this service, which will give people with cancer or easier access to the necessary specialists and speed up the admission process,” said Vicki Havercroft, Macmillan team leader.

“It is going to be a new way of working for the hospital and will mean we are much more joined-up in the way that we care for people with cancer, so we are extremely grateful for the support of Macmillan in funding this project for the first three years.”

Fran Williams, Macmillan development manager, said: “The service in Southampton is the first Macmillan has funded in central and south west England, so we will be working with the team to ensure that we learn from their experiences.

“I know that Vicki and the team will be doing all they can to make sure that people with cancer are given the best possible treatment and care when they are at Southampton General Hospital.”

Posted on Monday 20 June 2011