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Right Arrow Work starts on 1.3m cancer centre refurbishment
26 April 2012 at 13:40

The £1.3m refurbishment and extension to a cancer treatment centre for patients across north Sefton and West Lancashire is under way.

Representatives of the two charities who gave £500,000 each towards the cost of the work officially got started in a ceremony at Southport and Formby District General Hospital.

Marina Dalglish, from the Marina Dalglish Appeal, and Fred McClenaghan, from West Lancashire Community Hospice Association cut the first sod on the work watched by Trust chairman Sir Ron Watson CBE, Chief Executive Jonathan Parry, hospital staff and supporters, including Marina’s husband, Liverpool FC manager Kenny.

“The donation by the charities is a magnificent gesture which will be of huge benefit to patients and families who depend on the skill and care of our staff,” said Sir Ron.

The refurbishment will see the centre, known as the medical day unit, significantly expanded in size internally as well as having a semi-circular lounge extension added. It will create a light, airy treatment space for patients, some of whom require up to eight hours of chemotherapy at a time. There will also be new consulting rooms and a more comfortable waiting area for patients.

“We are delighted to be involved in this project, particularly as this is for the community in which Kenny and I live,” said Marina, of Birkdale, Southport. “I was astonished by how many people use the unit when I visited last year. So, I know patients will truly benefit from the significant improvements the charities’ donations are making possible.”

Hospice association chair Mr McClenaghan added: “We are delighted to be contributing on behalf of West Lancashire folk. Our charity was established to support non-inpatient care and this development compliments our funding of ‘Queenscourt Hospice At Home’ as it is delivered in West Lancashire."

Demand for chemotherapy treatments has grown by up to 15% a year since the medical day unit was last refurbished in 2005. This has been driven by people living longer lives and a growth in new treatments for cancer.

Southport Lions Club will also be contributing towards the cost of the project.

Sister Julie Marshall, who has day-to-day responsibility for the medical day unit, added: “The charities’ donations complement more than £50,000 raised by the many fundraising events held by friends and families of patients, from legacies left by them and donations given in their memory.

“Investment in the unit also means we can continue to treat more people locally rather than them facing long journeys to specialist centres elsewhere.”

Patients will continue to be treated in the present medical day unit until Friday 18 May when treatment will be split temporarily between Southport and Ormskirk hospitals.

Patients who attend clinics run by Clatterbridge Cancer Centre staff will be seen in Ward B at Ormskirk hospital. Everyone else will be treated in the former Ward 11a on the first floor at Southport hospital.

All patients will return to the refurbished unit when the work is complete in November.

Issued by Tony Ellis, marketing and communications manager
Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust

Telephone 01704 704494

Notes for editors

1. Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust manages Southport and Formby District General Hospital and Ormskirk and District General Hospital. It is also responsible for many community healthcare services for adults in Southport, Formby and West Lancashire. The Trust provides healthcare to a population of 258,000 people and employs 3,500 staff.

2. Marina Dalglish was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2003. She and husband, Kenny, set up the Marina Dalglish Appeal in response to the support she received from health professionals during her treatment: “Without their skill, dedication, encouragement, professionalism, sense of humour, love and support, I could not have come through my cancer journey.”

3. West Lancashire Community Hospice Association is a local charity which seeks to support patients who are not in inpatient care. Through its shops and donations more than £1m has been collected in West Lancashire for our cause. Apart from the project above, the Queenscourt Hospice At Home service in West Lancashire is fully paid for by the association.

Picture shows Marina Dalglish (Marina Dalglish Appeal) and Fred McClenaghan, (West Lancashire Community Hospice Association) get work under way on the £1.3m development of the medical day unit with Kenny Dalglish and Trust chair Sir Ron Watson