Published on: 15 December 2017

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Photo: Staff, patients and supporters gather to celebrate the magnificent new Primrose Chemotherapy Suite and East Lancashire Breast Clinic

 East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (ELHT) is thrilled to announce the official opening of the Primrose Chemotherapy Suite and East Lancashire Breast Clinic at Burnley General Teaching Hospital.

East Lancashire’s new £750,000 chemotherapy and breast care facilities, located in the hospital’s Edith Watson building (Area 3), will dramatically improve the treatment and care experience for patients across East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen.

Partially paid for by £116,000 in public donations following a hugely successful fundraising campaign organised by Rosemere Cancer Foundation, the entire chemotherapy and breast care suites are far more spacious than previous facilities, enabling staff to create a calming, relaxed atmosphere enhanced by natural light with views to Pendle Hill.

Named in honour of Primrose Farm which stood on the Burnley Hospital site as far back as the 1800s, the new facilities also provide patients 10 dedicated parking spaces directly outside the Edith Watson entrance.

ELHT Chief Executive Kevin McGee, said: “The new chemotherapy and breast care units at Burnley General Teaching Hospital build on the Trust’s already excellent reputation for cancer treatment.

“These fantastic new facilities mean we are able to treat more patients, reduce waiting times for chemotherapy and speed up diagnosis, as well as provide care closer to patients’ homes.”

“On behalf of the Trust, I want to thank the many, many people, businesses and charities for their incredible support, and give a special mention to Rosemere Cancer Foundation and everyone who donated via their hugely successful appeal.”

Other leading supporters who helped make the new facilities possible include the Burnley General Hospital League of Volunteers and the 16th Accrington St Anne’s Brownies who have fundraised tirelessly over the past 18 months.

The Primrose Chemotherapy Suite increases East Lancashire Hospital’s capacity for chemotherapy treatment by 29 per cent and aims to offer chemotherapy within five days of referral.  The Suite features a large seated observation lounge, four extra treatment rooms, a state of the art Sensory Room, counselling room and its own dedicated reception and waiting area.

“The Primrose Chemotherapy Suite significantly improves the hospital surroundings which have a big impact on the wellbeing and mood of individual patients and staff,” says Sister Angela Holden.

"Swift diagnosis and treatment help reduce the anxiety experienced by patients and the devastating impact that cancer can have on individuals and families.”

“With an extra six chairs and two treatment rooms, the new chemotherapy suite means our service to be expanded and reduce waiting times.”

Patients attending the new East Lancashire Breast Clinic will benefit from six consultation / examination rooms and the ‘Bluebell’ counselling room.

In addition, Rosemere Cancer Foundation provided £5,000 to help create the Sunflower prosthetics fitting room where a selection of prosthetic fashions to suit all budgets can be viewed.

Both the ‘Bluebell’ and ‘Sunflower’ rooms have been named in recognition of the two conservatories located in the hospitals’ general outpatients that were funded by donations from local women Lynn Nestor and Deborah Butterworth. 

“Our vision was to create a pioneering haven for chemotherapy and breast care patients,” says Lead Breast Care Nurse, Helen Lawrence.

“The breast care and chemotherapy teams have worked closely to create two units in a single location that enhance the patient experience and support the high standards and quality of care that our patients deserve.”

Integrating the chemotherapy and breast care units means patients are able to have screening, consultations and any chemotherapy, all within the same area. This is much more convenient as currently, to access both services, patients have to visit different sites in different parts of the hospital.

The new chemotherapy and breast care facilities are the latest development to open as part of an ongoing £18.1 million investment in facilities at Burnley General Teaching Hospital.