Harnessing the power of music to improve the lives of patients
A Stockton based hospital has received matched funding from MusicVCancer to transform its Chemotherapy Unit.
The eight week refurbishment at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust received a fantastic £54,000 matched donation from the Hartlepool based charity which was founded by a former patient. The unit will be officially opened on the 28 January at 9:00am by Julie Gillon, Chief Executive at the Trust.
As admissions for treatment increase year on year, the previous facility was no longer fit for purpose. Patients are often receiving treatment for 8-10 hours so it’s really important that they are in a comfortable environment with enough space for their families to stay with them too. With a commitment to making sure that the experience for patients is as calming as possible, the team set to work planning a refurbishment.
They focused on both building and cosmetic works, creating a new reception area so each patient could be greeted on arrival and creating a bright area with enhanced lighting to improve the patient experience when receiving treatment.
By restructuring the layout of the unit, everything is at hand for the nurses so they can spend more time with the patients who need them most. The introduction of separate treatment rooms provides patients with privacy and dignity during assessment. If a patient begins to feel unwell, they can be moved away from the main room for a private assessment with the doctor. A new roof has also been added to the conservatory so that patients can use it comfortably all year round.
The staff consulted with patients over the cosmetic work and the overwhelming feedback was that they wanted a bright area. This has certainly been achieved with the colour scheme, the improved lighting and the addition of kwikscreens. These screens have relaxing imagery on them to brighten up the cannulation areas and the treatment rooms. The unit were also grateful to receive an ‘end of treatment bell’ donated by Jo Owen, founder of Blue Light Babies. This is a truly sentimental touch and has had great feedback from patients who are excited to ring it at the end of their treatment journey, giving them something to aim for.
Tony Larkin is the founder of Music v Cancer – a charity that has been dedicated to raising funds for cancer research and equipment within the North Tees and Hartlepool Foundation Trust.
Hartlepool man Tony, 53, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2009 and set up the charity in 2010 and has been volunteering for the Trust for nearly nine years.
By running his legendary ‘weekender’ gigs in his hometown – attracting artists such as The Magic Numbers, Jack Savoretti and The Blow Monkeys – Tony was able to hand over £54,000 to North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust which was matched pound for pound by the hospital to pay for a full refurbishment of the Chemotherapy Ward. The total investment stands at £108,000.
Julie Gillon, Chief Executive of North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust said: “We can’t thank Tony and his charity enough for their generosity. This refurbishment will improve the lives of so many people who come to our Trust to receive Chemotherapy treatment. The team on the unit are dedicated to delivering the best level of care for their patients and this new facility will help them immensely.”
Michelle Holmes, Chemotherapy Matron at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust said: “Feedback from our patients who have been in for treatment since the refurb has been overwhelmingly positive. It is highly regarded within the community and both patients and families are forever showing their gratitude – people are choosing us to provide their treatment! I would just like to say a huge thanks to Tony and his team for making our dream a reality.”
Tony Larkin, who is now eight years all clear, said: “I am so thrilled that this project has come to fruition.
“The chemo ward was a bit tired, quite impersonal and the layout made it difficult for private consultation and treatment.
“I think that the refurbishment has made it far more user friendly for staff and more personal for patients.
“I know that the refurbishment will bring a touch of much-needed comfort to those staff and patients who will be using it.”
£108,000 MvC Refurb opens on Teesside – Jan 2019
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