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Derby cancer care unit rated as one of the country's best

Published 09/07/2014
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The Macmillan cancer care centre at the Royal Derby Hospital has been rated as one of the best in country, winning a top national award.

The Macmillan Information and Support Centre at the Royal Derby Hospital,  has been awarded the Macmillan Quality Environment Mark (MQEM) in recognition of high standards in cancer care.

Run in partnership between Macmillan Cancer Support and Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the centre provides free information, financial, emotional and practical support for anyone affected by cancer.

In the past year, the centre has helped more than 3,580 people affected by cancer including Christine Earlam from Alvaston,

Christine, who is in her seventies, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma last year. She had lost her husband to a heart attack nine years earlier and with no other family close by found herself alone and frightened.

She called into the Macmillan Information and Support Centre and met Macmillan Cancer Information Centre Manager Lisa Freeman who gave Christine the emotional support she needed. She also helped Christine to fill in the forms to claim a Macmillan Grant to help her buy a freezer.

Christine said: “I was terrified when I was told it was cancer and I didn’t know who to turn to. I’m a widow so I live on my own and I don’t have any brothers or sisters. I felt so alone. I found myself going into the Macmillan centre and Lisa put me at ease straight away. She’s been wonderful. She always has a kind word and time to chat. She advised me on wigs and helped me fill in forms for a Macmillan Grant. She’s been such an amazing support. Whenever I see that Macmillan advert on TV, I think, ‘I’m not alone, I’ve got Lisa.’”

Last year staff at the centre secured Macmillan Grants totalling £21,199 to help people affected by cancer cope with the financial pressures arising from their diagnosis such as hospital car parking fees and increased heating bills.

Ruth Wilson, Macmillan Development Manager for Derbyshire, said: “This award reflects the hard work and dedication of the team that designed the centre and all the staff and volunteers who work to make it a welcoming and supportive environment for patients and their families so no one has to face cancer alone.

“To receive the award, environments have to score highly in areas such as use of space, comfort and atmosphere, personal and social interaction and health and well being - all areas highlighted as really important by people living with cancer who helped develop the award.”

The MQEM is a detailed quality framework used for assessing whether cancer care environments meet the standards required by people living with cancer. The quality mark, the first of its kind in the UK, has been developed by Macmillan Cancer Support in collaboration with people living with cancer and stakeholders including the Department of Health.

Lisa Freeman, Macmillan Cancer Information Manager at the Royal Derby Hospital, said: “We are delighted to receive this prestigious award and recognition for efforts made to ensure that our area meets the needs and standards of our clients. The aim of the MQEM is to ensure that the space is sensitive in design, with room to chat in confidence; whilst making a real difference in helping people cope with their diagnosis. It is very reassuring to have this work recognised and valued.”

The centre, on the ground floor of the Royal Derby Hospital, is a free drop-in service open Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 4.30pm, but times may vary. 

Last Modified 09/07/2014