Oncology nurses and other staff at Salisbury District Hospital are celebrating the arrival of a new mobile cancer care unit (MCCU).
The new unit marks six years of Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust working with cancer charity Hope for Tomorrow on the provision of mobile cancer care in Wiltshire, Dorset and Hampshire.
“The great thing about this new unit is that it gives us the potential to expand”
Its first MCCU, named Kayleigh after a former patient, allowed staff to treat over 3,170 patients close to home and save over 291,000 miles and around 21,600 hours in travel and waiting time.
The new MCCU has been upgraded with the latest equipment and will continue to be based at Salisbury District Hospital.
It will be driven to locations in Fordingbridge, Gillingham and Westbury, where staff will continue to provide this specialist treatment for people in the community.
Sister Jan Moffat, lead nurse for the unit, said: “The MCCU currently provides chemotherapy to patients with cancer and a range of treatments for people who have low immunity.
“The great thing about this new unit is that it gives us the potential to expand our services and look at other cancer related treatments in the future,” she said.
She added: “We are very grateful to Hope for Tomorrow who have provided us with the new MCCU and for their commitment to the care of patients with cancer in this area.”
The charity builds and maintains the MCCUs to support patients going through chemotherapy and other cancer related treatment by reducing the stress of travelling for appointments.
Hope for Tomorrow works in a “unique partnership” with the NHS, noted the trust, having launched its initial MCCU in 2007 as a world first.
It currently has 10 units operational in Gloucestershire, Somerset, South Wiltshire, Hampshire, East Kent, Lincolnshire, Cornwall, West Suffolk, East Essex and London/Surrey, plus two in reserve.
The charity also provides a “nurses support vehicle” with each unit, which allows the nursing team to travel to and from the daily treatment locations.