I had a detailed brieifng yesterday about the new £2.9 Macmillan Cancer Care Centre at The Lister Hospital. A new state-of-the-art building will bring the majority of the hospital’s cancer services under one roof for the first time. The treatment area for patients receiving chemotherapy will be able to accomodate almost twice the numbers and there will also be space for relatives to sit with their loved ones. There will be a dedicated information and support centre for patients and families, as well as two garden areas for patients to relax in while undergoing treatment.
The cancer services provided at the moment are first class, but patients and staff have to contend with cramped and unsuitable surroundings. In particular there has been a real lack of privacy for those receiving their diagnosis for the first time and attempting to adjust to the consequences. The new Centre will be an enormous improvment.
Of course, these facilities come at a cost and Macmillan Cancer Care are hoping that local people will feel that they want to contribute to the fund-raising efforts. I was told that 1,500 people in East and North Hertfordshire are diagnosed with cancer each year and 10,000 people are already living with cancer in the region. We have all been affected by cancer within our families or workplaces. The building work will begin in July, but the fund-raising will be needed for many months.