Thursday 28th July 2016

The new unit is situated within haemato-oncology ward 2A at the Royal Hospital for Children. A group of young people with cancer were involved in the overall design, which includes 8 bedrooms in total, made-up of 6 single rooms and 2 single bone marrow transplant rooms, all with en-suite bathrooms. There are also 8 day-beds, split between 2 day case rooms. The bed areas have bespoke furniture, soft furnishings, wall art, mood lighting, TV and DVD players, WiFi and laptops. The unit also has a large social area where young people can play computer games, listen to music, or watch films on the latest Smart TVs.

Kevin Bridges, said:

Meeting these young people who've been landed with cancer so early in their lives is very humbling. No one should go through that alone. I'm proud to see the people of Glasgow getting behind Teenage Cancer Trust and helping raise money to keep these services open.

Connor from Glasgow was 12 when he was first diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. He developed Acute Vascular Necrosis (AVN) during his treatment. After 2 years clear, he was re-diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in February this year, aged 18. He is currently receiving treatment on the unit. Connor helped design the social space in the new unit and spoke at the opening event.

Being treated on a Teenage Cancer Trust unit made me feel less isolated and alone during my treatment. I have made so many friends here and had some wonderful fun experiences both on and off the unit. The emotional support has made a big difference to me, whether it is just sitting chatting to Ronan, my Youth Support Coordinator or playing on the Xbox, it has been a great distraction at a difficult time for me.

We fund a Youth Support Coordinator at the unit as well as a Lead Nurse who works across all of our services in Scotland.

The new unit complements our unit at the Beatson, which cares for 16 to 24 year olds, meaning young people with cancer aged 13 to 24 across the West of Scotland will have access to the specialist services we provide.

Shona Robison MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, said: "It's been an honour to visit the new Teenage Cancer Trust unit, and to meet staff, and patients and their families. The close partnership between NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Teenage Cancer Trust is a great example of working together to ensure a patient-focused model of care, prioritising the unique and individual needs of every young person with cancer."

John Brown CBE, Chairman of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said: "Cancer can be devastating and we are committed to supporting the health and wellbeing of patients and their families, helping people's lives by tailoring the service to each individual's needs. I've heard truly inspiring stories today from young people and their families that remind us of the importance of offering care and support from the point of diagnosis. I would like to offer our thanks to everyone who has made this possible."

Siobhan Dunn, our Chief Executive said: "Our unit here at the Royal Hospital for Children is absolutely incredible.

Being in an environment that is like a home from home with others in the same situation makes such a huge difference.

"We've made great progress in making sure that young people with cancer have the best treatment, care and support in Scotland, but there is so much more to do. Right now, for every young person we help, there is another we can't. That needs to change and our next challenge is to raise enough to ensure that no young person in Scotland faces cancer alone."