New teenage cancer facility at Addenbrooke’s

A NEW teenage cancer treatment unit was opened at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge today (Tuesday).

The state-of-the-art, 11-bed unit will be the main cancer treatment centre for 14 to 24-year-olds in East Anglia.

Thanks to support from the local community, the charity raised �2.9m towards the construction of the unit, and the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust contributed �800,000.

The aim of the scheme is to create a “home from home” environment in which specialist staff can deliver the care urgently needed by young people. It includes a “social zone”, parents’ room, chill out room and learning centre.

Dr Helen Hatcher, consultant oncologist at Cambridge University Hospitals, said: “Evidence shows that a dedicated unit staffed by specialist consultants and nurses results in better survival rates and faster recovery.

“Past and present patients have had significant input into the facility’s design and we hope it will not only provide the right care and support while undergoing treatment, but it will allow teenagers to be teenagers.”

The unit is expected to treat around 200 patients a year, and will be staffed by nurses, healthcare assistants, a ward clerk and three doctors.

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Simon Davies, chief executive of Teenage Cancer Trust (TCT), said: “Today’s opening is a real milestone for the charity. Not only will this be our 22nd TCT unit but it is also our first in East Anglia.

“This has been an excellent partnership between Cambridge University Hospitals and TCT, and we will continue to work together to provide an excellent standard of care for these young people.”