Bedford Hospital held the official opening ceremony of the re-developed Macmillan Primrose Unit last night.
The re-developed unit was opened by HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Helen Nellis and counted members of the hospital’s trust board and Bedford hospital’s charity among its attendees, as well as representatives from the late Jayne Beard’s family.
The redevelopment project spanned 17 weeks and was made possible thanks to Bedford Hospital’s charity through their ‘Challenge Cancer Appeal’ that began in 2014 under the enthusiastic chairmanship of the late Jayne Beard.
The £750k that this raised funded both the provision of additional facilities within an expanded chemotherapy treatment suite in the Macmillan Primrose Unit, and advanced diagnostic equipment in a new hysteroscopy suite in the hospital.
This new equipment is used for the rapid identification and diagnosis of gynaecological cancers, often removing the previous need for an invasive procedure.
The expansion along with the new installations mark the first major changes since the unit opened back in 2003.
The Primrose Unit provides a full complement of high quality, clinical and support services and is a cancer treatment unit with facilities to treat a wide range of cancers areas including breast, colorectal, lung, prostate, gastric, lymphoma and gynaecology.
HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, said: “It was an honour to officially open the renovated unit which looks outstanding.
“The new state of the art surroundings and equipment will no doubt enhance patient care and increase patient benefits at a time that can be very worrying and stressful for them.
“What a wonderful and much-needed health care improvement for the local communities.”
Gordon Beeden, acting chair of Bedford Hospital’s charity, said: “I would like to thank all those who generously donated to this worthy cause through our challenge cancer appeal, without your donations this redevelopment would not have been possible.
“I would also like to pay tribute to our friend Jayne Beard who was instrumental in setting up this campaign.
“We can all be proud of this most recent achievement and of all the many varied facilities and items of equipment in Bedford Hospital that supporters have funded by their efforts during the past 28 years”.
Gordon Johns, chair of Bedford Hospital NHS Trust, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Bedford Hospital’s charity and all supporters for making new and improved cancer facilities a reality for the hospital.
“The development and expansion of the unit including an additional two treatment beds and an additional four special treatment chairs, means our staff are able to see and treat more patients in improved modern settings.”