Thanks to improvements in day care facilities, many patients can now receive their chemotherapy treatment by day and return home after the session, rather than staying in hospital overnight.
When the Diane McCarthy Medical Day Unit (MDU) was redeveloped in 2010 all sorts of improvements were introduced:
- Capacity was doubled with 30 new comfortable chairs in modern booths, designed to provide space for privacy and dignity as well as keeping patients close to staff when needed
- Modern entertainment systems next to each chair, including internet access, allow patients to carry on with their busy lives with minimum disruption
- More consultation rooms and improved processes for assessing patients’ suitability for chemotherapy have reduced the wait to see a doctor before having chemotherapy
- Eight oncology cubicles contain ultrasound facilities
- A Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) centre was built into the unit
The MDU is part of the Ambulatory Care Centre at The Royal Marsden’s Chelsea hospital. This is one of the only facilities in the UK providing an ambulatory care service for cancer patients in a dedicated unit.
Supporters of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity raised £3 million towards the new MDU, which opened in November 2010.
Improving patients’ experience
Richard Schorstein, Matron for the MDU, said: “Patient experience is incredibly important at The Royal Marsden. A good experience can make all the difference for patients who are undergoing treatment and the MDU is a great example of this.
“Patients receiving chemotherapy can often feel quite unwell. As well as receiving the very best care, their comfort and dignity is vital. Thanks to funding from The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity there is so much more space and privacy for patients. The MDU provides an environment that patients tell me is both relaxing and comfortable and we are incredible proud to be able to offer this to them.”
The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity contributed £3 million to the cost of the Diane McCarthy Medical Day Unit.
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