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Gloucestershire Business News

Hope for Tomorrow launches world first mobile cancer care unit

Gloucestershire charity Hope for Tomorrow is launching its next generation state-of-the-art fully mobile medical cancer care unit.

The unit is a world first in healthcare innovation, designed to change the way cancer care is delivered.

In a unique partnership with the NHS, the mobile cancer care unit will visit communities to offer a wide range of services, including accessible daily clinics, cancer screening, education programmes and a variety of treatments.

It means NHS trusts will be able to offer patients more choice of where their cancer care is delivered, with less time spent attending appointments and no compromise in quality or consistency of care.

Staffed by NHS oncology experts, it will address health inequalities, with a holistic treatment option for hard-to-reach communities.

Manufactured in Yate, South Gloucestershire, the unit includes two hydraulic powered consultation rooms which expand from its side. Each room will be fully connected with digital facilities, so that patients and staff on board are able to connect remotely to the main hospital if necessary. Attached to a HGV chassis, the unit can be moved from location to location with ease.

Hope for Tomorrow designed and launched its first mobile cancer care unit in 2007 in Cheltenham. Since then, it has continually developed its fleet, which grew to 13 units by the start of 2021.

Throughout the Covid-19 crisis, available reserve units were deployed to support NHS trusts wherever possible, allowing vital cancer services to continue where they may not otherwise have been able to.

Tina Seymour, CEO of Hope for Tomorrow, said: "This unit has been three years in the making and the result is a testament to our relentless commitment in making crucial cancer care more accessible for all.

"By facilitating educational and support sessions within a community, the unit will allow NHS staff to provide life-saving information, such as self-examination guidance from specialist breast care nurses. The potential for urology clinicians to host catheterisation sessions for patients and a range of other clinics will enable patients to spend significantly less time attending hospital-based appointments."

Building the Generation 3 mobile cancer care unit was made possible by a generous grant of £747,764 from pharmaceutical company, Bristol Myers Squibb.

The unit, named 'Christine' in honour of the charity's founder who died of cancer in 2018, will be officially unveiled this evening (November 5) at The Centaur, Cheltenham Racecourse.

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