A new assessment unit to see and treat patients undergoing treatment for cancer and blood disorders has opened at Castle Hill Hospital.
The Queen’s Centre Acute Assessment Unit aims to help people manage their illnesses and any complications related to their treatment.
Hull University Teaching Hospitals (HUTH) has invested £1m in the new unit to provide timely support to Haematology and Oncology patients.
Wherever possible, patients will also be able to return to their own homes after treatment instead of having to stay on a hospital ward.
Senior Matron Lisa Hartley said: “Clinical staff in both our Haematology and Oncology Departments want their patients to be treated in the right place at the right time.
“The Queen’s Centre Acute Assessment Unit will provide first-class facilities for patients requiring assessment and urgent treatment during their cancer treatment.
“This will ensure our patients have access to the unplanned assessment and treatment they require from dedicated and experienced health care professionals within a day case setting.”
The trust started a pilot scheme in 2018 to support patients with cancer and blood disorders from a small assessment area in the Radiotherapy Department before moving to Ward 29 at the start of the pandemic to help keep the patients, who are immunocompromised and at greater risk from Covid-19, as safe as possible.
Around 8,500 patients have been assessed and treated since the pilot began, with around 70 per cent well enough to go home later that day without being admitted to a ward.
The success of the pilot scheme made it apparent the service required a new home, large enough to accommodate patients in a safe clinical area and with all the necessary facilities for treatment to be undertaken.
Located on the ground floor of the Queen’s Centre, the assessment unit features six glass-fronted isolation cubicles, three treatment rooms including one en-suite and three bays with seven treatment chairs, which will allow the unit to care for up to 16 patients once it is fully operational.
A dedicated team of nursing staff, led by Sister Louise Walters, have hung their own photographs of local beauty spots on the walls and the unit is painted sunshine yellow to create a warm and relaxing environment. The team has also undertaken fundraising events and has received donations to improve the environment for patients.
Patients will continue to be assessed over the telephone through a dedicated help line and, if further support is required, will be asked to attend the unit by appointment. They will be assessed by skilled oncology and haematology doctors and nurses and may undergo blood tests, x-rays and treatments including blood transfusions, fluid infusions and medication reviews.
Any member of the public worried about possible symptoms of cancer and patients with concerns unrelated to their cancer diagnoses should contact their GP surgery directly.