Chemotherapy home service celebrates first birthday in Solihull - The Solihull Observer

Chemotherapy home service celebrates first birthday in Solihull

Solihull Editorial 29th Nov, 2016   0

A REVOLUTIONARY chemotherapy at home service run from a lifesaving cancer unit is celebrating its first birthday while it continues to develop the quality of life for its patients.

Delivered by Heartlands Haematology Cancer Unit, the service is part of the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust and provides patients with the option to receive chemotherapy treatment in the comfort of their own home.

Receiving chemotherapy treatment at home has been shown to reduce stress from constant hospital visits and can be particularly beneficial to patients who are elderly or suffer from mobility problems.

So far, the service has cared for 35 patients and made 584 community visits since its launch in November 2015.

The service was originally set up with the support of donations from the Kay Kendall Leukaemia Fund with just one community chemotherapy nurse, Jackie Wilson.

However the service has been boosted in recent months with the introduction of a second nurse courtesy of the fundraising exploits of Rob Eley – former skipper of the Solihull Barons Ice Hockey team.

Rob raised £40,000 during his 19for19 campaign after his wife was treated for cancer on the ward.

Jackie said: “The money raised by Rob Eley through his campaign is a massive boost for the service as it helps us to carry on and further develop.

“The plan now is to keep building and try and treat as many patients as we physically can.

“We are also looking at linking in with other community projects and have started a weekly clinic at a GP in the borough.

“Though this is still in its early stages, we are hoping it will further prevent some patients from having to travel to Heartlands for treatment and clinic appointments.

“The reception to the service has been really positive – it has helped the patients maintain their quality of life.”

Another beneficial aspect to at-home treatment is the opportunity for patients to form relationships with their nurses, enabling them to feel more comfortable and ask questions.

Howard Sweetman, a patient receiving at-home treatment in Chelmsley Wood, said: “When you are on the unit there are a lot of people there receiving treatment.

“But when the nurse comes to the house it is one-to-one – for 15 minutes it’s all about you.

“I think it has been really beneficial for me.

“I have a good rapport with the nurses, we have a laugh and a joke – they are lovely and really put you at ease.

“The service is a wonderful idea and great for the patients and for the unit.”

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