Minister Swann opens new cancer care unit at Ulster Hospital


Health Minister Robin Swann today officially opened a new £ 3million cancer care unit at Ulster Hospital in Dundonald.

The new Macmillan unit at the Ulster Hospital site was a partnership between the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust and the Macmillan Cancer Support and was designed with the help of people living with cancer and brings together services from chemotherapy and support.

It has a state-of-the-art chemotherapy unit with specially designed assessment and treatment areas; a satellite pharmacy; and a Macmillan Support Center.

Speaking following a tour of the facility where he met patients and staff and cut a ribbon to officially open the unit, the minister said: “This new unit is a great example of a successful partnership between South Eastern Trust and Macmillan. Most importantly, people living with cancer are at the heart of this unit and their personal experiences have helped shape its look and feel, and the support it provides.

“It is important for me to take this opportunity to thank all the staff, for their hard work and dedication during the current pandemic; and for the work they are doing to rebuild our health and social care services.

“I know that despite continued pressure, the oncology and hematology staff in all of the trusts worked beyond expectations to maintain services and support those undergoing cancer treatment. I cannot thank you enough for this. You should be extremely proud of all that you have accomplished here.

This unique building offers welcoming and uplifting spaces that support the comfort and well-being of patients, from its lighted terraces and local artwork, to the treatment area which offers comfortable and tailor-made chemotherapy chairs and uninterrupted views from the Scrabo Tower to the hills of Castlereagh.

Paul Gribbin received cancer treatment at Ulster hospital and was part of the project steering group overseeing construction. He said: “It is wonderful to see the Macmillan unit open and to provide care to the patients and their loved ones. It has been a privilege to add my voice and my experience to its development. I know from my own cancer journey how important it is to feel comfortable and be able to access the help you need while undergoing treatment. This unity is going to make a big difference in people’s lives.

Acting Deputy Director of Medical and Cancer Services at the South Eastern Trust, Mary Jo Thompson added: “It has been a pleasure to see this vision become a reality in just over four years and it provides a fantastic facility providing a high quality comfortable environment for our patients that matches the high quality care and support provided by our staff. “

Janice Preston, Head of Partnerships for Macmillan in Northern Ireland said the unit is focused on people living with cancer: “Cancer can affect people’s lives in many ways, physically and emotionally. We know that the environments in which people are treated are vital to their dignity and well-being, and can have a significant impact on how they feel and respond to treatment. The Macmillan Unit demonstrates how innovative and caring design, combined with people’s lived experiences, can shape and improve cancer care.


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