Friday 22nd September 2017

South West

The revamp has created a more age-appropriate space, with brightly coloured walls, a TV and recliner chair. The addition of a sofa bed will allow visitors to stay overnight, to stop young people from feeling isolated. To design the room, Teenage Cancer Trust’s design team visited the Yeo Ward and met with the clinical teams to hear the views of the young people treated on the ward.

The improvements were provided by Teenage Cancer Trust as part of the roll-out of their new Nursing & Support Service in the area, and made possible by incredible fundraising support from the local community. Every year, approximately 220 young people are diagnosed with cancer in the South West each year, and around 2,500 UK-wide. Teenage Cancer Trust already provides specialist units Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre and Bristol Children’s Hospital, and funds specialist staff in hospitals across the region.

Charlotte Porter, Regional Fundraiser for Teenage Cancer Trust, said:

We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has fundraised to make these improvements for young people with cancer possible in the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital. It's the passion and dedication of our amazing supporters that make all of Teenage Cancer Trust's vital work possible – we couldn't do it without you. We need to continue this support so we can make sure that no young person with cancer faces it alone.

Lorraine Beddard is a Clinical Liason Nurse Specialist working in Exeter and Devon providing age appropriate care and support  for teenage and young adults with cancer. She said, "A huge thank you to Teenage Cancer Trust and everyone who has raised money to make this happen. It's transformed the space to be more welcoming and homely to young people and their loved ones. We’ve had some great feedback from our young patients, their families and the staff who work on the ward. We know what hard work goes into fundraising and we are very grateful."

Nadia was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma aged 18, and was treated in the side room in the Yeo Ward before the refurbishment. She said,

It's so exciting to see the side room refurbed for other young people with cancer. It’s bright, airy and inviting, and will really make a difference to young people like me receiving treatment in Exeter. Going through cancer will never be an easy experience, but there are many things that can help improve it, and providing spaces like these makes a huge difference to restoring a sense of normality.

Teenage Cancer Trust nurses develop and provide the best possible clinical care and play a vital role in shaping the care of young people with cancer. They also offer one to one support for young people and their families, and work with the patient’s local clinical team to address their specific needs, both in hospital and at home. The Nursing & Support Service sees the nurses taking specialist care out beyond Teenage Cancer Trust units, to wherever young people with cancer are being treated, whether that’s in their local hospitals, at home or elsewhere.

Tina Grose, Lead Cancer Nurse at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, added: “We are extremely grateful for the continued support from Teenage Cancer Trust; the adoption of the clinical liaison nurse allows patients to have greater access to resources from Teenager Cancer Trust which directly impacts on the patients and loved ones wellbeing. Environment is also extremely important for this group of patients, particularly with the challenges of treatment and the transition to adulthood, so this room will make a significant difference to this vulnerable group of patients.”      

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