Volunteer serves up 10,000 cuppas for cancer patients

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A long servig hospital volunteer from Rastrick who has served 10,000 cups of tea to patients has opened a new cancer ward.

Long-serving hospital volunteer Carol Armitage, snipped the ribbon at the opening of the new state-of-the-art outpatients centre for cancer patients at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.

Carol has been a volunteer on the unit since it first opened 20 years ago.

She said: “I wish to say on behalf of volunteers past and present how much it means to us to help you on this ward. Over the years I have met some wonderful people and it is a pleasure to do what we do for them. There been so many changes yet the care remains the same.”

More than 150 patients a week will receive their chemotherapy treatments in the suite and all oncology outpatients appointments will be held on the unit.

The unit retains its original name the Greenlea Unit and was originally opened in 1996 by the then Chief medical Officer for England Sir Ken Calman.

It is the first major upgrade since it was opened 19 years ago supported by the Huddersfield Breast Cancer Appeal.

The chemotherapy area is more spacious and has room for more patients than the previous unit and has a mixture of spacious shared chemotherapy areas with privacy curtains for each patients and a number of side rooms for patients requiring bed facilities.

The oncology outpatient area has eight clinic rooms, a resource centre to offer advice and support to patients and their families, a light, airy waiting room with drink-making facilities and a Quiet Room.

The walls – painted in bold, modern colours, - are decorated with pictures of flowers and butterflies painted by children of the staff and there are also vast full-wall murals of flowers, goldfish and the countryside.

Chemotherapy Lead Nurse Jackie Swire, said: “We are delighted to be able to have this new facility for our patients. We have been wanting to improve it for a long time and are now really pleased that our patients, their friends and their families will have a new, improved environment as they go through assessment and then treatment for a wide range of cancers.

“Chemotherapy treatments can be long and frequent so anything which makes it more relaxing is so much better for patients who are going through difficult times. All the team is very proud to be able to offer them care on this new facility.”

The chemotherapy suite has had two new scalp coolers donated from Paxman Coolers a local Huddersfield firm which makes the specialist headwear equipment which aims to minimise hair loss during chemotherapy.