Five months after handing over a 14,000 signature Petition calling for the development of a Cancer Information and Support Centre at the Royal Bolton Hospital, Bolton Cancer Patients and Carers Consultative Group are still waiting to hear if their campaign has been successful.
Miss Elliott, Chair of the Group said:-
‘Every week I get enquiries from members of the public asking what is happening and why we have failed to get a response within the promised timeframe. We can fully appreciate people’s frustrations but ask people to remain patient. We have been assured by NHS Bolton and Bolton Health Consortium that the Centre is being considered as part of the current commissioning round; therefore it shouldn’t be too long now before we hear if this much needed and long-overdue facility will finally get the go-ahead.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their continued support and reassure people that this matter remains most firmly on our agenda; as soon as we hear anything we will let people know of these developments.’
Bolton Cancer Patients and Carers Consultative Group have been advocating for a Cancer Information and Support Centre at the Royal Bolton Hospital for over 6 years now and along the way their campaign has attracted the backing of local celebrities including Professor Alan Ashworth Chief Executive of The Institute of Cancer Research, Amir Khan, Maxine Peake who lost her own mother to cancer, Mark Radcliffe and Comedian Dave Spikey who once worked as a Biomedical Scientist at the Hospital. The Petition became necessary after NHS Bolton pulled out of the proposed development leaving plans in jeopardy. Macmillan Cancer Support have given strong indications of their willingness to fund the building of the Centre and provide monies to run it for an initial period of up to 5 years but without local commitment to pick up the on-going running costs once this period of pump-priming comes to an end so far the project has been unable to proceed.
The proposed Centre in Bolton would offer cancer information, practical advice, a listening ear and emotional support; Welfare Rights Advice; Complementary Therapies; education sessions/workshops; space to hold cancer related meetings; a less clinical environment for the Breast Prosthesis and Breast Lymphoedema Services and a Wig Fitting Service. With the Centre as the hub it is envisaged that Community Satellite Units would in time be developed as part of an Outreach Service.
Miss Elliott said:
‘Our vision has always been that the Centre will be an integrated and integral part of local Cancer Services offering a credible source of information, advice and support to complement the work of the Multidisciplinary Teams and others working with cancer patients, their families or carers. A dedicated facility such as this can only improve the patient experience as has been found to be the case at the many similar Centres across the Country.’
Member since: 10th July 2012
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