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New mobile chemotherapy unit launches in Southport

The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, one of the largest networked cancer centres in the UK, has extended the pilot scheme of its state-of-the-art mobile chemotherapy unit, launching a new site in Southport.

The official opening of the Southport unit coincides with the one year anniversary of the scheme. Since its initial launch in Chester in January 2013, the scheme has enjoyed huge success, with 99 per cent of patients treated to date finding the service comfortable, reliable and convenient.*

The mobile unit will be based outside Tesco in Kew, Southport, three days a week for a period of three to six months. If successful, it could become a permanent feature in the town, bringing cancer care even closer to patients’ homes and ensuring even more patients have access to this method of treatment

The unit will hold six chemotherapy treatment bays, as well as a reception and pharmacy area where nurses can prepare chemotherapy for patients. Patients who are currently treated at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre’s networked clinic at Southport Hospital will have access to the mobile unit.

These pioneering mobile units form part of the Clatterbridge in the Community programme, a chemotherapy service which offers specialist treatment away from a hospital setting. This enables some patients to have access to the care they require in a more convenient location; from a networked clinic to, in some cases, their own home.

The mobile unit at Southport will provide a high quality of care and create additional capacity; offering a more bespoke service for local people. It is hoped that the unit will further improve patients’ experience as consultants will be able to spend more time with patients.

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Kim Barrow, head of chemotherapy at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre and project manager for the mobile unit commented: “It isn’t possible for some patients to travel to our main site on the Wirral; even their nearest clinic can be a struggle for some people. The mobile units have been something we’ve been working towards for a long time, in order to ensure that all of our patients have access to our world class services at their own convenience.

“Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust is working closely with us and is fully supportive of the opportunity of increasing access for patients to high quality cancer care. A full evaluation of the scheme will take place before a decision is made about a permanent location for the mobile unit, ensuring that the service is best placed to reach the heart of the local community.”

The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre was among the first centres in the UK to use multiple drug chemotherapy to treat cancers and chemotherapy is one of its fastest growing areas of expertise. The Centre operates a comprehensive network of world-class chemotherapy facilities, and delivers nearly 39,000 treatments to patients each year, from both its Wirral based site and a series of networked clinics across Merseyside and Cheshire.

*Patient experience questionnaire conducted in November 2013

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