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Hospital charity’s £150,000 target for new chemotherapy unit

By Simon Penfold | Business Picks | Published:

A campaign to raise funds to support a new £2.2m chemotherapy unit, which will help thousands of cancer patients across the West Midlands fight the deadly disease, has smashed through the halfway point of its £150,000 target.

The new chemotherapy centre, which will be based at Solihull Hospital, will allow people living with cancer to have better access to treatment and will create a more peaceful and relaxed environment.

It will initially have 24 patient treatment chairs and this is expected to rise to 31 within three years.

Benefits of the new unit include a garden, a quiet room for patients, easier parking and a separate entrance to the main hospital building.

At the moment, all chemotherapy patients treated by the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust are cared for on Ward 19 at Heartlands or at the Sheldon Unit at Good Hope. Over the past four years there has been a greater need for chemotherapy treatment at Heartlands and this move will ease some of the pressure there.

The fundraising is being led by the Ward 19 Charity, part of Heartlands Hospital Charity. Doctors leading the fundraising drive, which will support the unit with added extras items that are over and above what the NHS can fund, have urged local people and businesses to support the life-saving unit with donations as the opening day approaches.

To date over £80,000 of its £150,000 target for the new unit has been raised. Donations have included £49,000 from the testimonial year of Solihull Barons’ ice hockey star Rob Eley, whose wife has been treated at Ward 19.

Consultant haematologist Dr Shankara Paneesha, who is based at Ward 19, called on businesses to support the new unit.

“The creation of the new chemotherapy unit at Solihull Hospital is a tremendous step forward in the treatment of our patients. It means that those going through what is often a frightening and grueling ordeal will have access to more comfortable surroundings for their treatment, which will be of great benefit to them and to their loved ones.

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“Our target is to raise £150,000 towards the cost of the new unit and we have made a great start but we’ve still a long way to go so more support from the community is absolutely vital.”

A glittering charity ball taking place on Saturday, February 24, at The Forest Hotel, Dorridge, near Solihull, - which aims to raise £10,000 - is almost sold out. There will be live entertainment and DJ, a three-course dinner, and a raffle and auction with some great prizes including a holiday in Greece and a £2,000 cash prize.

A few tickets are still available from Kathy Holder at Ward 19. Email Kathy.holder@heartofengland.nhs.uk or call 0121 424 1876 for more information. To find out more, or to make a donation, please visit heft.org.uk/ward19

Simon Penfold

By Simon Penfold
Business Editor - @SPenfold_star

Business Editor based at the Express & Star's head office in Wolverhampton, looking for stories big & small.

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