18 November 2015
Macmillan Quality Environment Mark award
The Mustard Tree Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Centre at Plymouth Hospital has been awarded a Macmillan Quality Environment Mark (MQEM) for delivering high standards of care to people affected by cancer.
The award - given by Macmillan Cancer Support following rigorous, independent assessment - 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, and also recognises high standards in building design.
The Mustard Tree centre has been open for over twenty years and underwent major redevelopment in 2009, providing increased space and resources.
Located within Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, it works closely with all the staff who are involved in the treatment of cancer and aims to provide comprehensive support and information within a relaxed and comfortable environment. The team of staff and trained volunteers at the centre can guide patients, carers and relatives through the range of information available, provide emotional support around any worries and concerns, and signpost visitors to local support groups and a wide range of other services including counselling, complementary therapies and benefits advice.
Sue Smith, Centre Manager at the Mustard Tree, said: 'We are thrilled to receive this prestigious award. We couldn’t have done it without the help of all the staff and volunteers who work at the centre on a daily basis. When you or a loved one is facing cancer, not being able to find the answers you need can be frustrating and isolating. We are here to try to help make sure no one has to face cancer alone.'
Jacqui Hodge, Macmillan Development Manager for Devon and Cornwall, said: 'This award reflects the hard work and dedication of the team that designed the centre 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 wellbeing. 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.'
The drop-in centre is open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm, but some of the activities and support groups on offer now run outside of these hours. For more information, contact the Mustard Tree on 01752 763672 or drop in and visit the team at Derriford Hospital, level 3.