Cancer treatment in the Manning has risen to the next level with the opening of the new oncology unit at Manning Hospital.
The state of the art facility includes eight treatment chairs (only six are currently operational but there is room to grow) and seven consultation rooms in the outpatients unit.
The technology is brand new, including beds, chairs, monitors and computers.
“It’s new and it’s everything the old one wasn’t, and it gives us room to grow,” said nursing unit manager Donna Nicholson.
The unit opened on Tuesday (October 23), and the first patient in the new facility was Keith Bradshaw from Diamond Beach, who is receiving treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
He said the moment he walked in, he felt good.
While the other (oncology unit) was old, the staff did a brilliant job. This is just going to take it to the next level.Patient, Keith Bradshaw
“I’ve been an oncology patient for over a year,” he said. “The staff is absolutely brilliant and they deserve this technology and the people of the Manning deserve it, and we appreciate it a great deal.
“While the other (oncology unit) was old, the staff did a brilliant job. This is just going to take it to the next level.”
Keith was first diagnosed in August 2017 and underwent almost 12 months of chemotherapy. It was looking good but he said after a holiday, the cancer had returned so he is back now on a different approach to treatment.
“I’m keeping my fingers crossed and we have all the confidence in the world with the hospital and the people.
“I’ve been on every ward except maternity and they really care. It’s a small hospital punching above its weight, especially the people.”
Patient comfort was an important factor in the new unit, said the hospital’s general manager Jodie Nieass.
“Their stress levels are already high so it was important to make it as comfortable as possible.”
In addition to the space having more treatment bays compared to the old unit, each space now also has it’s own television and there is a more open layout.
An isolation room is available for procedures that have to be done there, otherwise the treatment is administered in the chairs.
There is also amenities and a proper staff room and kitchen, while the visitors have their own beverage bay (staff and patients previously had to share), and for the first time the oncology unit has storage space.
The clinics are the biggest growth (there was previously no consultation rooms) and with the arrival at the hospital of a second oncologist, there would had not been enough room.
It’s new and it’s everything the old one wasn’t, and it gives us room to grow.Nnursing unit manager, Donna Nicholson
“Now there are two clinics going,” said Jodie.
The hospital redevelopment includes a 45 space underground car park for cancer patients and has also brought all the oncology-related staff into closer proximity rather than spread out across the hospital.
As a snapshot of the number of people using the cancer services at the hospital, between August and September the treatment room, clinic and nurse practice saw 1150 patients come through.
The hospital’s new renal unit will open on Friday, October 26.
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