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First mobile chemotherapy unit in Yorkshire launched

The first mobile chemotherapy unit in Yorkshire has been launched, commissioned by the charity York Against Cancer to serve patients of the York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

The £700,000 unit gives patients from outlying areas, who would otherwise travel to the trust’s main hospitals in York or Scarborough, the chance to be treated closer to home.  It will also ensure capacity at the main hospitals for longer or more complex procedures.

Patients under the care of York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, who meet a number of strict criteria, will be offered chemotherapy treatment on the mobile unit, which will be staffed by highly trained specialist nurses and will have dedicated parking on each site.

The unit has been donated as part of events to mark York Against Cancer’s 30th anniversary year.  The charity, founded in 1987, has raised £15,000,000 to support cancer care, research and education in North and East Yorkshire.  The charity has also launched a £100,000 anniversary appeal to help support the running of the unit.

Patrick Crowley, Chief Executive, York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said:  “We are absolutely thrilled that we have launched our first mobile chemotherapy unit and hope, that as a result, patients with cancer throughout North Yorkshire will feel the benefits from receiving their treatment closer to home.

“York Against Cancer already provides some invaluable services for our patients and we are incredibly grateful that they have given us this opportunity.”

Rob Holtby, a 67-year-old farmer from Leavening, has prostate cancer and currently travels to Scarborough for chemotherapy - a return trip of around 60 miles.  A former steward at Malton Rugby Club, he still looks after the pitch at the club, which will be one of the regular ports of call for the chemotherapy unit.

Rob said the new unit would make a big difference to patients like him: “The nurses in Scarborough are brilliant, they are very good to you, but it is a stressful thing that you are having done.

“You try to look on the bright side but you do get a bit down and being able to come somewhere like this will be a lot less stress - travelling home can take an hour for me with the traffic.  This is great for everybody - it will be brilliant.”

Professor Steve Leveson, Chairman of York Against Cancer, added: "The mobile chemotherapy unit has been an ambitious project inspired by talks between York Against Cancer and hospital experts.

“We're really excited to see it come to fruition and we hope it will improve the service offered to patients, both those who use the mobile service and those who continue to be treated at the main hospital sites.

"It's amazing is that the whole project is going live less than two years since its inception.  For this, we must thank all those from the Trust who worked so hard to make it a success."

The unit will call at Malton, Selby, Scarborough and Bridlington.  With four treatment chairs, it will be able to accommodate up to 10 patients a day in modern, comfortable surroundings.

20 July 2017

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The £700,000 unit gives patients from outlying areas, who would otherwise travel to the trust’s main hospitals in York or Scarborough, the chance to be treated closer to home. 

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