23rd Oct, 2016

New £1.8million breast unit puts focus on the individual

Lorna Morris 28th Mar, 2016 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

WORCESTERSHIRE Royal Hospital’s new £1.8 million breast care unit has finally opened its doors after years of fund-raising.

Observer reporter Lorna Morris took a look around the new venue to find out more.

Located in the quiet corner of the hospital site, the Worcestershire Breast Unit on 220 Newtown Road, offers a comprehensive service under one roof for women and men across the county for all breast related issues.

Since the launch of the Worcestershire Breast Unit Campaign in 2007, volunteers, organisations and trustees have offered essential support and fundraising to reach the £1.8million target in order to make the hospital’s newest addition a reality.

With a large car-park, spacious waiting rooms, five consulting rooms, imaging suite and state-of-the-art equipment, Consultant Breast Surgeon, Steven Thrush believes it is the “simple things” that matter the most.

He said: “It is so close to the hospital but it feels very different. It doesn’t feel like a standard clinic, there is no hustle and bustle. There’s a mural of Worcester on the wall, there’s comfortable chairs and a coffee machine, it is not like your typical waiting room.

“A lot of the ideas for the unit have come from our patients. It is the simple things like having separate changing rooms and different exits, so if people have had some bad news they have some privacy. Mirrored glass has also been installed throughout.

“You can’t be telling someone the worst thing possible and have someone nearby on the phone, this is a place where you won’t be overheard. This is about looking after the individual, not the disease”

The unit provides an integrated service which was once spread over various floors in the main hospital. The move enables patients to receive results and treatment quicker.

Supported by Haven, one of the biggest breast cancer charities in the UK, the clinic also offers free, one to one emotional support and complementary therapies for people affected by breast cancer.

Helping people deal with their diagnosis and subsequent treatment, the aim is to offer relief to the side-effects of breast cancer treatment and to help with dealing with the emotional impact.

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust Chief Executive, Chris Tidman, said: “The new unit offers a one-stop-service. We can create a bespoke and dedicated service for everyone that comes through the doors.

“With 5,000 people expected to visit in a year, the unit provides vital space, both office and clinic rooms away from the busyness of the main hospital. People want to know their results as soon as possible, so breaking the good news quickly is very important,” he added.

With high hopes for the future, Steven Thrush intends to plant a medicine garden at the back of the unit to encourage wildlife, as well as expand the service.

He said: “We are always looking at how we look after our patients from screening to treatment and support.

“We are very excited about the future of the breast care unit and we will continue to develop the service.”