Dedicated cancer treatment unit opens at UHS



Thousands of cancer patients will be treated in a purpose-built new centre which opens its doors at UHS next week

Hamwic House is a brand new and considerably bigger facility that will offer a range of services for oncology and outpatients and will serve as a one stop shop for consultant appointments, blood tests, PICC line fittings and chemotherapy treatment.

It replaces the outdated C3 ward, where cancer care was, pre COVID-19, delivered to approximately 10,000 people a year.

Hamwic House, built as part of a £9m government grant, will officially open its doors to patients on Monday.

It will be a milestone day for cancer care staff as they return “home” to UHS after more than a year spent working off site.

It was in March last year, during the very early stages of the pandemic, that oncology services were able to be moved across the road to the neighbouring Spire Southampton Hospital thanks to a partnership formed with the Trust to ensure clinically vulnerable cancer patients could continue to receive their treatment safely.

The Trust’s chemotherapy service, nurses and a number of clinicians relocated.

The new unit, built by construction firm BAM and Portakabin in conjunction with the UHS estates team, has seen the number of consulting rooms doubled. It will also enable the continuation of virtual clinics, a system developed during the pandemic meaning patients who don’t need treatment can speak with their nurse or consultant without having to leave home or work.

Nurses played a key role in the design of the new unit which has its own discreet exit and a pharmacy attached, while patients were also involved in choosing the colours of walls and chairs.

Jenny Milner, lead matron for cancer care at UHS, said: “I have never been so proud of the teamwork, determination and commitment of the Cancer Care team to ensure that we still treated our patients during such a turbulent and uncertain time.

“Being able to design our own purpose built environment has given us the opportunity to make key changes to the service we provide to ensure a really positive patient experience. We can’t wait to be back on site at UHS and welcome patients to our incredible new home.”

Tim Iveson, Professor of gastrointestinal cancer at UHS, added: “This superb new unit allows us to move treatment back to the UHS site to a much-needed, significantly more spacious location. With 27 treatment bays and 17 out-patient consultation rooms it will be a real benefit to the many thousands of cancer patients we care for and treat at UHS every year.”

Posted on Thursday 13 May 2021