Dr Andrew Sykes, Christie consultant
Dr Andrew Sykes is a consultant clinical oncologist at The Christie and the lead doctor for The Christie at Macclesfield project. He talks about his first-hand experience of patients having to travel from East Cheshire to The Christie, and how a new cancer centre will improve patient outcomes.
"As a doctor, one of the most difficult situations to deal with is when someone you know will benefit from treatment decides not to go through with it. People often have very valid reasons for making that choice, but when that reason is that it is too far to travel, then that is something we must do something about.
"Sadly, I have experienced patients from the Macclesfield area declining treatment because of travel concerns. The thought of spending nearly all their day travelling to south Manchester for treatment and then having to battle the traffic home, day after day, and week after week, is simply more than some patients can bear.
"That’s why I’m so keen to support the appeal to help fund a new Christie at Macclesfield cancer centre in the grounds of Macclesfield District Hospital. I want every person who can benefit from treatment for their cancer to do so.
"If planning permission for the new centre is granted and the appeal that has been launched by The Christie charity is successful, then more than 1,500 patients, making over 40,000 hospital visits per year, stand to benefit from care and treatment closer to their homes.
"We want The Christie at Macclesfield to set the standard nationally and internationally for the care of frail and elderly patients with cancer. The hospital environment will be tailored to meet their needs and all staff will have specialist training. New patients will undergo a frailty assessment and will have their individual needs supported by a wide ranging multidisciplinary team.
"We know our patients throughout East Cheshire value the quality of the services provided by The Christie. They feel reassured to know that they are getting the best treatment available. But we also understand how hard it is for many to access services that are so far from home.
"I never want to see another patient from the Macclesfield area declining treatment because it’s too far to travel."
- Dr Andrew Sykes