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News | Celia Blakey Unit officially opened

Date Posted: 16th May 2017

The William Harvey Hospital's Celia Blakey Day Unit received a civic official opening last week.

Already open and receiving patients since March 2017, the chemotherapy unit's ceremonial opening was attended by East Kent Hospitals' Chair, Nikki Cole. The Deputy Mayor of Ashford and Cllr Winston Michael was also at the opening, alongside the Deputy Mayoress, Cllr Doreen Michael.

The original Celia Blakey Unit – named after a former patient and benefactor – was temporarily moved to the existing chemotherapy unit at Kent and Canterbury Hospital in 2015 due to staff shortages. East Kent Hospitals continued providing a service to appropriate patients on the William Harvey Hospital site, using a mobile chemotherapy unit which is funded by the charity Hope for Tomorrow and operated by East Kent Hospitals.

Following an extensive £200,000 refurbishment of the former Arundel Unit, the new Celia Blakey Unit has reopened, with additional space and better facilities for patients.

Nikki Cole said: "It's wonderful to see the refurbished Celia Blakey Day Unit open at the William Harvey Hospital. I'm pleased for the patients and for dedicated staff who work in the unit.

"When the first patients entered the new Celia Blakey Unit, it was a wonderful and emotional experience for those involved with the project. The opening of the unit is a real cause for celebration and highlights the Trust's commitment to delivering an excellent standard of patient care."

Thanks to a £3,000 gift from the cancer charity Macmillan who has teamed up with VeriFone, the Celia Blakey Unit will have an enclosed garden area. This will give patients a chance to enjoy fresh air and beautiful flora when they want to have a break from the chemotherapy. This project has just started.

Macmillan have also kindly funded a bespoke information hub for the patients of east Kent to be based at the William Harvey, where patients will be able to access written and computer- based information on treatment and support while receiving chemo and post-treatment.

Macmillan Chemotherapy Nurse Consultant Eleanore Quadri, said: "The staff have had a great deal of input into the design of the new unit, and this has given them a great sense of pride. We're thrilled that the new unit has opened and have we've received wonderful feedback from our patients.

"Some of the patients are in the unit for up to 11 hours a day, so the staff have always been determined to make them feel as comfortable as possible."

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