Manchester’s specialist cancer centre, The Christie, has launched a new chemotherapy and blood service in Winsford, Cheshire, so that more cancer patients from the local area, can access its first class chemotherapy treatment closer to home.  

Based at St Luke’s (Cheshire) Hospice, Christie nursing staff will be treating up to 15 patients every Friday, in a new four chair chemotherapy suite.

A Christie blood clinic has also been introduced every Wednesday morning, where patients can get a pre-treatment blood test.

For a number of years Christie patients have benefited from attending a Christie outreach service at Leighton Hospital. However, due to service limitations it has meant that many patients still needed to make the gruelling round trip of up to three hours to the main Christie site in South Manchester for treatment.

Many of these patients will now be just 10 to 15 minutes away from accessing this new service in Winsford.

The NHS Vale Royal Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) had identified a need for this service to be provided locally and worked with partners at The Christie and St Luke’s to get it up and running. 

First patient Fiona Freeman, 54, from Sandbach, who is being treated for metastatic breast cancer, said: “This new chemotherapy service in Winsford has made an enormous difference to me. Previously I had to travel a long distance for treatment at The Christie in Withington which can be tiring and take hours out of your day.

 “It takes me only 15 to 20 minutes to get to this new centre and in turn gives me more time to spend with my family!” 

Victoria Burns, outreach chemotherapy manager at The Christie, said: “This new service in Winsford takes us another step forward with our chemotherapy outreach programme following the success of our other clinic’s in the community, the mobile chemotherapy unit and our Christie at Home service.

“Thanks to the hard work and dedication of all the team, the chemotherapy outreach service has come such a long way in the last few years. We are on track to provide in excess of 20,000 anti-cancer therapies through our local clinics this year.

“Seeing the difference the service makes to our patients will always keep us moving forward. The outreach chemotherapy team is passionate about what it does and we are all so very proud and privileged to be in a position to make such a difference to our patients.”

St Luke’s Matron Wendy Wilson added: “We care for cancer patients every day at St Luke’s and see first-hand the strain that traveling to The Christie for treatment can have on them.  Chemotherapy is a draining process, so when you’re facing this alongside a commute to Manchester it can be overwhelming and exhausting.  To be involved in hosting this Christie chemotherapy outreach clinic at St Luke’s is an honour for us and will make an enormous difference to those living with cancer in our community and their families.”

The Christie chemotherapy outreach service includes; 

  • The mobile chemotherapy unit which is open during the week in Rochdale, Trafford, Chadderton and Bolton
  • Nurse led clinics one day a week at Salford Royal, Bury Townside Primary Care Centre, Arden House Medical Practice, New Mills and St Luke’s (Cheshire) Hospice
  • Peripheral clinics at other hospital trusts in Macclesfield, Leighton, Stockport, Bolton, Wigan Oldham and Tameside.

Anyone interested in finding out more about Christie chemotherapy services in the community can contact the satellite chemotherapy outreach team on 0161 918 7654.

The Christie NHS Foundation Trust has been ranked ‘Outstanding’ by the health regulator the Care Quality Commission which referred to it as ‘exceptional’ and ‘a leader in its field’. The CQC commended the Trust not only for its effectiveness and care but also for its work in shaping the future of cancer care, noting the reach and influence of its clinical research projects.