31 January 2013
The University College Hospital Macmillan Cancer Centre was treated to its first Royal visit today when Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales - patron of Macmillan Cancer Support - and The Duchess of Cornwall met with patients and staff. Katherine Jenkins, classical crossover artist and one of the charity’s most dedicated ambassadors, also joined the visit.
The centre which opened in April 2012, offers the most advanced service of its kind in the UK - redefining the way cancer patients are treated.
The visit formally marked the partnership between Macmillan Cancer Support and University College Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH), which runs the centre.
The charity brings 100 years' experience of developing innovative, ground-breaking services which put the needs of patients and families at the heart of cancer care.
Speaking at a visit to the UCH Macmillan Cancer Centre today The Prince of Wales said:
“I’ve been so impressed over the years by the extraordinary way in which Macmillan can make such a difference to so many people’s lives particularly at such a very difficult point in their lives.”
Katherine Jenkins said:
“It was fantastic meeting Their Royal Highnesses today and some of the cancer patients who are treated here. Cancer is a cause close to my heart as I lost my father to it when I was only 15. I have no doubt that this ground-breaking centre will give hope to patients and their families.”
The Macmillan Support and Information Service on the ground floor is the focal point of the partnership between Macmillan and UCLH and has an experienced team of staff and trained volunteers offering individual in the moment emotional support, information and practical advice to patients, family members, friends and carers. As there is no referral, people can just walk in.
This is provided alongside a programme of group support which includes art, creative writing, relaxation, yoga and tumour specific support groups. The unique service offers support to more than 100 patients and their carers every day with a range of issues, from financial problems to help getting back to work or fitting a wig. It provides complementary therapies, such as massage and aromatherapy to patients and families as well as counselling and psychology to support the psychological and emotional effects of cancer.
This fits well with The Prince of Wales' philosophy of an integrated approach to healthcare which combines both conventional and complementary therapies to treat the 'whole person'.
The £100 million centre has wellbeing, rehabilitation and cancer survivorship at the heart of its philosophy. This is supported by the very best diagnostic and treatment techniques to improve survival rates, including the UK's first PET MR scanner, delivering the most accurate information from deep inside the body during a single scanning session.
Sir Robert Naylor, UCLH chief executive, said:
"We were thrilled to show Their Royal Highnesses around our new cancer centre to formally mark our partnership with Macmillan. With earlier diagnosis and advances in drug treatment, for many patients there is a renewed focus on living with cancer and reducing the impact of treatments on their quality of life. Our centre supports that philosophy giving patients more control over their own care."
Ciarán Devane, Macmillan Cancer Support chief executive, said:
“It has been an honour to have HRH The Prince of Wales as our patron since 1997 and we are delighted that he and The Duchess of Cornwall were able to see first-hand how we are delivering world-class treatment and care.
“As the number of people living with cancer is expected to double by 2030, we must redefine cancer care in order to provide everyone with the care and support they need. The UCH Macmillan Cancer Centre in partnership with the NHS does just that.”
There are no inpatient beds in the centre and many patients receive 'ambulatory' care - or 'care on the go'. For example, some chemotherapy patients, who in the past would unnecessarily spend time in a hospital bed, can receive their drugs via a backpack which gives them the freedom to go shopping or grab something to eat.
For further information about University College Hospital Macmillan Cancer Centre, visit http://www.uclh.org/OURSERVICES/OURHOSPITALS/CC/Pages/Home.aspx
For further information, please contact:
Sarah Ross, PR Manager, Macmillan Cancer Support
0207 840 4722 (out of hours 07801 307068)
Ian Lloyd, Head of Communications, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
020 3447 9506 Internal ext 79506
Notes to editors:
More information about University College Hospital Macmillan Cancer Centre
UCLH was a pioneer of ambulatory care in the UK and working with UCLH Charity recently opened The Cotton Rooms - the first four star hotel in the NHS where clinically appropriate patients can stay free of charge during treatment. Patients are monitored every day and can contact the hospital at any time.
The hotel, which is a stone's throw from the cancer centre, is one-third of the cost of a hospital bed and the scheme is incredibly popular with the patients who use it.
The centre's close links to the UCL Cancer Institute, which is directly across the road, gives patients the opportunity to take part in leading-edge clinical trials.
The centre also sees UCLH continuing its long-standing partnerships with the Teenage Cancer Trust and with private healthcare provider HCA International who both have areas devoted to their services.
About Macmillan Cancer Support
Cancer is the toughest fight most of us will ever face. But you don’t have to go through it alone. The Macmillan team is with you every step of the way.
We are the nurses and therapists helping you through treatment. The experts on the end of the phone. The advisers telling you which benefits you’re entitled to. The volunteers giving you a hand with the everyday things. The campaigners improving cancer care. The fundraisers who make it all possible. We are Macmillan Cancer Support.