The Christie’s pioneering mobile chemotherapy unit will now be providing cancer treatments at Royal Bolton Hospital on 3 days a week for eligible patients, up from the current 2 days a week.
The service is provided by specialist chemotherapy nurses, from a tailor-made trailer, with four treatment chairs to enable Christie nurses to treat up to 20 cancer patients a day.
The mobile unit provides treatment for more than 1,700 patients every year, saving them the need to make the longer journey to The Christie site in Withington.
Since being launched in 2013, after a fundraising campaign by The Christie charity, the service has helped treat over 10,000 patients.
The specialist mobile unit is also stationed at the AJ Bell Stadium, Eccles on Monday and at Tesco Extra in Stretford on a Tuesday.
The mobile chemotherapy unit is part of The Christie’s expanding outreach service, which now offers over 25,000 chemotherapy and immunotherapy treatments each year at venues closer to or in patients’ homes.
Since February 2020, Lorraine Greenhalgh (55) from Bolton is has been visiting the mobile chemotherapy unit once every 3 weeks at Royal Bolton Hospital for treatment for breast cancer. Her last treatment took place at the end of November.
She said: “The mobile unit is wonderful and makes having to go for cancer treatment much more bearable. The mobile unit is only about 15 minutes from home but when I had to go to The Christie site in Withington it often took 90 or more minutes in the rush hour. Setting off at 7am and sometimes not getting back until tea time, it was a long and tiring day. As the mobile unit is smaller, I’ve never had to wait. They see me on time and there are no delays.
“The mobile unit makes a big difference to my quality of life. The nurses and staff on the unit are so kind and friendly and you get to know them personally. They are very welcoming and reassuring and so professional. I think it’s great that more people from the Bolton area will now be able to benefit from this invaluable service.”
SACT (systematic anti-cancer therapy) outreach service manager at The Christie, Stephanie Hechter, said: “At The Christie we want to provide treatment for patients as close to home as possible, saving those who live further away a long trip to our site in south Manchester. The mobile unit is staffed by Christie nurses and offers the same high standards of treatment and care consistent with our main site. We have extremely positive feedback from all our patients that use it, so it is great news that even more patients who live in and around Bolton will be able to receive their treatment there.”
All patients using the mobile unit are assessed by a Christie nurse before their treatment begins and continue to have regular reviews by their Christie consultant.
Patients who would like to find out more about having treatment in the unit should ask their doctor or chemotherapy nurse for more information, or alternatively contact the unit on 0161 918 7654.
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.