Bid to improve cancer care for younger patients

Posted on Mar 12, 2012

A THREE-storey extension has been proposed for a Bristol hospital to house a dedicated teenage cancer unit.

The white block will be added to the front of the grey concrete Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre, if city planners give the project the go-ahead.

Plans for the £15.5 million expansion of the hospital include space for a unit specifically designed for teenagers and young adults and will make room for the adult bone marrow transplant service to move out of Bristol Children's Hospital.

Larger underground bunkers for bigger, modern radiotherapy machines would also be created under the hospital's car park as part of the scheme to make way for leading new technology.

As previously reported in the Evening Post, charities have pledged to raise some of the money needed to fund the project.

The Teenage Cancer Trust will fund the centre for teenagers and young adults, Friends of Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre have pledged to raise £2 million for a new radiotherapy machine, and Above and Beyond, which fundraises for the city centre hospitals, has also agreed to support the project.

The teenage cancer unit will comprise both outpatient treatment and consultation rooms with a cafe and inpatient accommodation with a kitchen and social area and quiet room. Guidance for the treatment of teenagers and young adults with cancer advises that 16 to 24-year-olds have better outcomes when they are treated in surroundings that are more suitable to their age.

The adult bone marrow transplant will be combined with the hospital's haematology day unit, including the Bristol Haemophilia Centre.

It will also make space for the blood treatment, or apheresis service, to move across from Southmead Hospital.

The designs submitted to Bristol City Council for planning approval show that the new block will sit on columns with parking underneath.

Where the new section of the extension joins the current building red cedar timber has been proposed.

The entrance to the hospital will be moved to make way for the new block.

People living near the Horfield Road hospital have been contacted for their views on the design and amendments have been made to the plans as a result.

Andy Headdon, strategic programme director for University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, said: "A lot of the discussion as we have gone through the consultation has been about trying to enhance what is already there and do something that will improve the frontage on to Horfield Road.

"We have got a good working relationship with the residents' groups in the area and on this scheme we have come to an agreement on 80 per cent of it."

Mr Headdon said that clinical staff at the hospital were involved in working out how the current model of care could be redesigned to fit the extension and that information was considered in the design.

The aim is for the extension to be completed by the end of December 2013 so that the adult bone marrow transplant services can move out of the children's hospital before specialist paediatric burns and neurosciences move from Frenchay Hospital.

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