Michael Ball opens new cancer treatment facility

Tuesday September 15, 2015

Celebrity Michael Ball praised the specialist cancer unit at St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester as a ‘beacon for other trusts’ before officially opening a new treatment room for teenagers and young adults on 1 September, 2015.

The theatre star also commended the Fernhurst Centre’s new five star Quality Environment Award from Macmillan, praising staff for their dedication to their patients and commitment to improving the environment and experience of those using the facility.

Michael, who more than six years ago helped lift the first turf before construction began on the £3.5m unit, said: “To get the five stars from Macmillan is testament to what you are doing so well, and the Fernhurst Centre is a beacon for other centres around the country.

“None of us actually want to come here but if we are in need of a place like this then what better facility is there?”

Dr Sarah Janes, Consultant Haematologist, welcomed Michael back to the centre, as well as former patients Hannah Cherringham, 22, and George Bennett, 21, who were asked to help perfect the new room’s colourful decor.

A large tropical beach scene mural covers the whole wall opposite the bed, and the room is brightly decorated with vivid greens and calming blues.

Hannah said: “We decided we wanted it to be somewhere you could escape to and, because everything is so colourful, it doesn’t feel like you are in hospital so much.”

The mural is one of three that Chichester-based SuperSigns has donated free of charge to the centre. Ward sister, Trish Campbell, said: “This has been a complete team effort and is thanks to the generosity of our young patients, Friends of Fernhurst, Supersigns and staff.

“The experience of being here is so much nicer when the environment is right and our Macmillan award has inspired us to do more.”

Viv Griffiths, Haematology Cancer Nurse Specialist, said: “Macmillan’s Quality Environment Award means that we are recognised for offering the best possible facilities for patients that have got a diagnosis of cancer.

“We are very much a team here and we were all completely over the moon to receive the award at the highest grade possible, complemented by fantastic comments from the inspectors.”

Kristiina Parkinson, Macmillan Development Manager for West Sussex, Brighton and Hove, said: “We are delighted that the specialist cancer unit at the Fernhurst Centre has been awarded the Macmillan Quality Environment Mark which recognises excellent cancer environments.

“This is testament to the enthusiasm and hard work of all the staff and volunteers who work tirelessly in providing an excellent service.

“The team should be very proud for being recognised for providing a centre with such high standards, as it makes a huge difference to the experience of people affected by cancer.”

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