24 October 2014
People affected by cancer helped develop the MQEM award
A centre that supports cancer patients throughout Herefordshire is celebrating receiving an award that recognises high standards in building design.
The Macmillan Renton Unit at Hereford County Hospital has been awarded a Macmillan Quality Environment Mark (MQEM) for offering high standards of care to people affected by cancer.
The award is the first in the UK that specifically assesses how well buildings such as chemotherapy units and information centres provide support and care to people affected by cancer.
The Macmillan Renton Unit was first opened on 4 July 2011 thanks to a donation of almost £2.7 million from Macmillan, £1.7 million of which came from fundraising by local members of the public. Wye Valley NHS Trust also invested £959,000 in the unit, which provides care and treatment for people who either have cancer, or are having tests when cancer is suspected.
Helen Byard, service unit manager for elective care at Hereford County Hospital, said:
'We're thrilled to receive this prestigious award. We couldn’t have done it without the help of all the staff and volunteers who work throughout the unit on a daily basis. The work everyone does here is tremendous and goes a long way to helping us maintain high standards of care for people affected by cancer in Herefordshire.'
The Macmillan Quality Environment Mark helps to ensure that people affected by cancer are treated and supported in physical environments of uniformly high quality. The scheme is open to any healthcare providers from the public, voluntary or private sectors that operate cancer care buildings. It has been developed in collaboration with people living with cancer and organisations including the Department of Health in England.
Elizabeth Wright, Macmillan's Development Manager for Herefordshire, said:
'This award reflects the hard work and dedication of the team that designed the unit and all the staff and volunteers who work to make it a welcoming and supportive environment for patients and their families.
'To receive the award, environments have to score highly in areas such as use of space, comfort and atmosphere, personal and social interaction and health and well being. Consideration is given to such things as the greeting people receive when they come to a centre, the use of natural light and outdoor space, and the availability of quiet, private rooms – all areas that were highlighted as really important by people living with cancer who helped develop the award. Cancer patients who access the Macmillan Renton Unit can now feel confident they are receiving treatment in a top quality environment.'