Chemotherapy will soon be available five days a week at the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath, making it easier for patients to receive the vital care they need.
Chemotherapy treatment has been offered for two days each week at the Princess Royal for some time.
While patients praise the care they receive, feedback has highlighted how difficult it can be to travel to Brighton for any treatment booked on the other three days.
“Many of our patients live in Haywards Heath and the surrounding area,” says Leigh Harvey, lead cancer nurse at both Princess Royal and the Royal Sussex Hospital in Brighton.
“Travel to Brighton has been a necessary part of their treatment, but they have told us that can be inconvenient, time consuming and tiring.”
Armed with this feedback, Leigh and the team set about expanding their service.
“When we started to examine how we could offer treatment five days a week, the benefits to our patients became self-evident,” Leigh explained.
“Less travel means less stress, less financial burden and more time to do everyday things which you can’t do from a traffic jam or train carriage.”
Increasing the availability of chemotherapy treatment in Haywards Heath also aligns with a national drive to provide cancer therapy close to home wherever possible.
Although some patients will still need to travel to Brighton for more complex therapies, the majority of local patients will be able to be treated at their most local, convenient, hospital.
“Later in the year, when our extra days are fully established, we’re also going to be offering a wider range of supportive therapies from the hospital to help our patients further improve their quality of life,” Leigh says.
“Our goal is to create a healthy, holistic place for life-saving cancer treatment in the heart of the Haywards Heath community.”
The news was welcomed by Clare Fordom, 41, a resident who has been treated at the Princess Royal over the last two years.
She said: “The PRH chemo service is excellent, the team are very welcoming and the treatment room is nice and calm.
“In my opinion the service here is gold standard. A five day service is great news for local residents – well done!”