The Christie is launching a new site for its mobile chemotherapy unit. From Monday October 19th, eligible patients will be able to receive chemotherapy at the new venue at the AJ Bell Stadium in Salford.

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 will replace 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. 

George Head, aged 70 from Westhoughton, is currently visiting the mobile chemotherapy twice a week in Bolton for bowel cancer which has spread to his lungs and liver. 

He said: “The mobile chemotherapy unit makes the difficult situation of cancer treatment much more bearable. My journey now takes 10 minutes instead of what could be more than two hours at busy times, which is hugely beneficial when you don’t feel well after treatment. There is also a real personal touch to the service as you really get to know the staff who are treating you when you spend the day on the unit for chemotherapy. It is wonderful news that more patients will be able to benefit from the service expanding into Salford.” 

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 will be able to 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.