A major appeal is being launched by Bedford Hospitals Charity as it unveils the Challenge Cancer project.
With a target of £750,000, the charity plans to improve and update Bedford Hospital’s Primrose Unit, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary.
Charity chairman Jayne Beard said there is great excitement about the appeal, which will be officially launched at a reception tomorrow evening.
She said: “The Primrose Unit has been providing exceptional care for ten years now, but during the past five years, the hospital has seen an 85 per cent increase in cancer patients. It is time to carry out improvements and upgrades which will benefit staff and patients.
“This will include extending the chemotherapy treatment area and purchasing state-of-the-art equipment for treating breast and gynaecological cancer.
“There will also be the introduction of ‘quiet rooms’ where people who receive their diagnosis can take their time to absorb the news and talk to staff before heading home.”
The charity also plans to purchase work stations where X-ray and screening results will be immediately available to doctors, improve the link between the ward and pharmacy, and develop the Primrose Car Service, which transports patients to Addenbrooke’s Hospital for treatment.
Jayne said: “The drawings and plans are in place and once the money has been raised, work will be carried out as quickly as possible.
“The unit will be moved to a temporary home during the improvements. Patients will not have to be treated where there is the dust and disruption.”
The charity is confident the appeal will be a success as previously the people of Bedford have been “so generous”.
Jayne added: “It’s amazing where the money comes from. While some people are able to write a big cheque, not everyone is in that position.
“Last year, a lady bought a milk bottle to the unit dated 2007, which was full of coins. It was very heavy, and she had walked from Bromham with it, which must have taken hours.
“We are so grateful to her for the effort she put in collecting her spare change over the years.”
She added: “We hope people will get on board with the new appeal. After all, it’s impossible these days not to know someone who has been affected by cancer.”
Find out more about the Challenge Cancer appeal at www.bedfordhospitalchaity.org.uk