The Christie at Macclesfield has treated its first patient today, marking a new chapter in cancer care for East Cheshire and the surrounding area.
Sue Thompson, 58, from Holmes Chapel, was the first patient to receive chemotherapy in the new £26m cancer centre today.
Having discovered a breast lump in early August, Sue was diagnosed with breast cancer in early September 2021 and started having treatment on 15 September. She is now around two thirds of the way through her chemotherapy and will then have surgery followed by radiotherapy.
Funded through £23m from The Christie charity, The Christie at Macclesfield will transform cancer care not just in East Cheshire but in the rest of the county, North Staffordshire and the High Peak area of Derbyshire.
The new centre will provide a range of holistic services including radiotherapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, hormone therapies, haematology treatments, outpatient care, nurse led clinics, counselling services, an information centre, palliative care and a wider range of clinical trials.
It will be delivering 12,500 radiotherapy treatments every year and 6,800 chemotherapy, immunotherapy and hormonal treatments.
This ambitious project includes specialist examination rooms, a new chemotherapy suite, a CT scanner where treatments are planned, counselling and complementary therapy rooms, a cancer information centre, a charity centre and a refreshment area.
Work on the 2-storey building commenced in the summer of 2020, following clearance work commencing at the end of 2020. The project has been completed on time and under budget.
Photo credit: Christian Smith
Sue said: “I’m really impressed with the new cancer centre and the care provided today was outstanding. This centre will make a huge difference to patients from East Cheshire and the surrounding areas, providing the highest standard of care from The Christie, but all under one roof and closer to patients’ homes.
“The new centre is bright, airy, spacious, calm and relaxing. This is exactly what you want when you are going through something as challenging as cancer.
“The care I’ve been getting from the current oncology nurses at Macclesfield District General Hospital since September has been fantastic and I’m delighted that most of them are transferring to be part of The Christie team in the new building.
“I’ve also had scans done at The Christie in Withington and all the staff were incredibly kind, caring, compassionate and dedicated but it’s going to be much better for patients like me to be able to access Christie care in Macclesfield from now on.”
Roger Spencer, chief executive at The Christie added: “We are delighted to have opened The Christie at Macclesfield today and to have provided a very warm Christie welcome to our first patients.
“The centre marks a new era in cancer care and treatment for people from East Cheshire and the surrounding areas. Many patients from Macclesfield and beyond currently travel to our Withington site but radiotherapy patients particularly will benefit from much shorter journeys in the future. Patients having radiotherapy can spend hours each day travelling to and from Withington for up to 6 weeks, at a time when they and their families are already very distressed.”
The Christie at Macclesfield has been designed in a way that will cater for the needs of patients with frailty.
The Christie charity is still fundraising for the new centre. To support The Christie at Macclesfield, visit The Christie at Macclesfield campaign page on our charity website or call the team on 0161 446 3988.
The Christie charity supports the work of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust providing enhanced services over and above what the NHS funds. This includes money for care and treatment, research, education and extra patient services. Gifts from the public make a huge difference to the care and treatment that The Christie is able to provide to patients and their families.
The Christie NHS Foundation Trust was the first specialist trust to be rated as ‘Outstanding’ twice (in 2016 and 2018) by the health regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC). It referred to The Christie as ‘a leader in cancer care’ and ‘a pioneer in developing innovative solutions to cancer care.’ The CQC praised the Trust’s staff which it said ‘go the extra mile to meet the needs of patients and their families’ and that they were ‘exceptionally kind and caring.’ In 2017, the CQC rated The Christie as the best specialist trust in the country, and one of the top three trusts overall in England.