The Christie has launched a new site for its mobile chemotherapy unit. Eligible patients are now able to receive chemotherapy at the new venue at the AJ Bell Stadium in Salford.

The first patient to be treated at the new site was Laura Derbyshire, aged 39, also from Salford, who is currently receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer. 

She said: “When I found out I could have my treatment nearer home, there was no question it would be a huge benefit for me and my family. The treatment can make me feel quite poorly afterwards, so having a shorter journey is so much better. It is exactly the same wonderful standard of care and support, just a 10 minute drive away, which is fantastic.” 

Launched in 2013 after a fundraising campaign by The Christie charity, specialist chemotherapy nurses now treat more than 1,700 patients every year in the specially transformed mobile unit, saving them the need to make the longer journey to the main Christie site in Withington. 

The new location at the AJ Bell Stadium replaces an outreach clinic at the Salford Royal Hospital which had to be paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The bespoke vehicle is also stationed at Tesco Extra in Stretford on a Tuesday and at Royal Bolton Hospital on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. The tailor-made trailer has four treatment chairs to enable Christie nurses to treat up to 20 cancer patients a day. 

In 2019/20, more than 1,700 patients benefited from having their treatment in the mobile chemotherapy unit as part of The Christie’s continually-expanding outreach service, which now offers over 25,000 chemotherapy treatments each year at venues closer to or in patients’ homes. 

SACT (systematic anti-cancer therapy) outreach service manager at The Christie, Stephanie Hechter, said: “One of our main goals at The Christie is to provide treatment for patients as close to home as possible, saving those who live further away a long trip to The Christie’s main 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’s great news that patients who live in Salford ca now receive their treatment nearer to home.” 

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 7671. 

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.