Monday 9th March 2015

East Anglia

The specialist daycare facility now complements the existing in-patient areas on Ward C9, which opened almost 3 years ago and can treat up to 8 young people every day

Since the opening in February 2012, around 200 newly diagnosed young people aged 14 to 24 from Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Hertfordshire, Essex, Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire have received treatment as inpatients.

The new daycare facility at Addenbrooke's Hospital will now enable young people who are receiving daycare treatment such as chemotherapy and blood transfusions to be supported and means they don't need to spend time on a children’s or adult day unit.

Unlike an ordinary hospital outpatient department, the area has been designed to bring young people together to be treated by teenage cancer experts in a place just for them. In keeping with the existing inpatient areas, it features bright and vibrant wall designs, comfy clinical recliner treatment chairs, bespoke storage, TV and internet access.

While they're there young people can also use the unit’s existing social zone where they can hang out and watch Sky TV, play music on the jukebox, play pool and use the latest games consoles. There is also a relatives room, chill-out pod, quiet room and learning hub so they can keep up with their studies and take their GCSE, AS and A2 exams. There are also numerous opportunities for young people to meet and socialise together on and off the unit through activities organised by the Teenage Cancer Trust Youth Support Coordinator.

Dr Helen Hatcher, teenage and young adult consultant oncologist at Cambridge University Hospitals, said:

It is simply fantastic that we are now able to offer young people who need treatment as a day patient the same facilities as those who are inpatients. The relaxed atmosphere and dedicated trained staff will help them feel more supported and relaxed during this difficult time in their lives. Bringing both sets of young people together also improves peer support as it gives them a chance to meet others in a similar situation whether they have to stay on the ward or be in the day unit.

We're now calling on the local community to continue fundraising and supporting the work of the unit and the teenage and young adult cancer service. Helen Bearfield-Swift, Teenage Cancer Trust Regional Fundraising Manager for East Anglia said: “Since the unit opened in February 2012 we’ve achieved so much. There is, however, still much more for us to do and for every young person with cancer we support, there is another we can’t. We rely on donations to maintain the C9 Teenage Cancer Trust unit, fund our specialist staff and support the work of our free cancer awareness sessions in schools, colleges and universities across East Anglia. That’s why we need the local community to continue supporting us.”