East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) is backing a new campaign promoting the use of mobile cancer care units to deliver localised cancer treatment.
The Hope for Tomorrow charity, which provides the NHS with mobile cancer units, has launched “Cuppa for Cancer Care. The annual event will take place between 30 January and 5 February, and encourages people to get together for tea, coffee and cake in aid of supporting mobile cancer care.
It has been backed by Gloria Hunniford, who is patron of the charity and lost her daughter, Caron Keating, to breast cancer in 2004.
Gloria said: “Cancer can take a terrible toll on individuals and their families. Travelling for repeated treatment is often difficult, stressful and time consuming. The mobile cancer care units and specialist NHS nurses drive out to patients’ communities rather than them having to travel to hospital. This makes a difficult time that much easier.
“Patients regularly comment on how great the nurses and drivers are, with the team immediately making them comfortable and offering them a cup of tea or coffee. That’s where the idea of Cuppa for Cancer Care came from, and we hope that people across the country will get together for this wonderful cause.”
ESNEFT is one of 11 NHS trusts to have a mobile cancer care unit, which it has operated since 2016. The unit is named Maureen after a nurse who worked at Colchester Hospital and who was also part of the original project team to set up the mobile cancer care unit initiative. The unit allows patients to be treated in Halstead, Tiptree, Stanway and Manningtree.
Alison Stace, director of operations at ESNEFT, said: “The mobile cancer centre unit is invaluable and so highly praised by our patients living in some of our most rural areas. We have fantastic feedback from our patients and are so pleased that Hope for Tomorrow provides this service for our communities.”
The units (pictured below) are just like hospital treatment rooms, with four treatment chairs, chemotherapy pump stands, and medical storage facilities. They are equipped with air conditioning and a cooling and heating system, as well as a toilet and kitchen.
Tina Seymour, Hope for Tomorrow chief executive said: “The mobile units allow cancer patients to have their treatment in a much more convenient way. They tell us that it makes a huge difference to them and they love the friendly atmosphere provided by the NHS staff and drivers. It costs £212 a day to keep a mobile cancer care unit on the road so fundraising is vital to keep the service going.”
Anyone interested in hosting an event, however big or small, should visit www.hopefortomorrow.org.uk/cuppa to sign up for a free fundraising pack.
Cuppa for Cancer Care is sponsored by Janes Pantry.
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