Emma Gray, a solicitor in our Private Client team, was invited by FORCE Cancer Charity to view the oncology facilities at Honiton Hospital on Friday, 23rd November 2018. Emma and other guests, including Cllr Duncan Sheridan-Shaw, were given a tour by FORCE’s CEO, Meriel Fishwick, of the ward where oncology support is provided, the Complementary Therapies room, and the waiting room which is stocked with fruit supplied by Tescos Honiton.
Thanks to funding from FORCE, chemotherapy treatment is now available in Honiton for the first time, alongside support for anyone in the area affected by cancer. The services are available to cancer patients from across the East of the county every Friday between 9:30am and 3:30pm.
As well as chemotherapy, delivered by experienced nurses from the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital’s Cherrybrook chemotherapy unit, FORCE offers free of charge:
- A drop-in service for advice and information;
- Counselling; and
- Complementary therapies.
Exercise advice from a specialist oncology physiotherapist and family support will also be introduced.
Emma Gray said “Seeing the set-up of the unit was emotive as it brought back memories of my husband’s treatment. However, my over-riding feeling was of the amazing difference this unit will make to oncology patients and their families, having the ability to access treatment and support locally.”
- The benefits to patients include:
- Treatment closer to home so less travelling time and expense;
- Easier parking;
- Quieter location and treatment area;
- Reduced waiting time for treatment, both in Honiton and Exeter;
- Experienced oncology staff from the hospital to deliver treatment; and
- Access to additional FORCE services to support patients and their families.
Not all cancer patients are eligible to receive chemotherapy treatments outside the RD&E’s main acute hospital site at Wonford. Consultants and chemotherapy nurses will discuss with patients and families whether they are suitable for community-based treatment.
Nonetheless, for those who do use the services, it will make a real difference at an emotional stage of their lives.