New Macmillan cancer support centre at KGH welcomes first patient

It has opened after months under construction

By Sam Wildman
Wednesday, 8th June 2022, 2:39 pm

A state-of-the-art Macmillan cancer support centre at Kettering General Hospital has welcomed its first patient.

Shaped by local people living with cancer, the brand new centre brings together a range of vital cancer information and support services under one roof.

It fills a much-needed gap in support for the 24,000 people living with and beyond cancer in the county.

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The first patient to visit the new Macmillan Cancer Support Centre, Leanne Hills, meets Macmillan cancer information specialist Danielle Mellows.

Leanne Hills, from Stanwick, was the first patient to walk through the doors. The 43-year-old met Macmillan cancer information specialist Danielle Mellows face-to-face for the first time, after weeks of telephone conversations as Danielle helped her come to terms with her breast cancer diagnosis.

She said: “When I was first told I had cancer I was on my own and I didn’t have anywhere to go, so I went and sat in my car and I drove straight to work and burst into tears.

"If I’d have been able to go into a Macmillan centre after getting that news and had somewhere where I could have gone to be upset and then leave out of the back door, it would have helped. I’m so glad that room is there for other people.”

The centre will provide cancer information, practical and emotional support and welfare benefits advice, as well as hosting the wig-fitting service and other support services.

The new Macmillan Cancer Support Centre

Leanne described the centre as ‘light and welcoming’ and praised the private room designed for one-on-one emotional support.

She said: “So much thought has gone into that little building. It’s going to help so many people.”

The centre was designed by GSS Architecture and funded by Macmillan and the Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Rachel Atkinson, Macmillan partnership manager for Northamptonshire, said: “Cancer can affect every part of your life, not just your health, so it’s vital that we support patients equally with their clinical and non-clinical needs.

"This fabulous facility offers a comfortable space where our highly trained staff can support the differing needs of those receiving a cancer diagnosis, enabling us to do whatever it takes to support people living with cancer.”

Ruth Giles, Macmillan head of nursing for cancer, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be able to welcome people into this fantastic new centre. Our patients will really benefit from the kind of wrap-around care and support that Macmillan provides which will complement the clinical care provided by our hospital teams.”

Andrew Vallis, associate and project architect at GSSArchitecture, added said: “We are thrilled to see the centre open and welcoming visitors through its doors. GSS are extremely proud to have been involved in such an important scheme that will truly make a difference to those living with and affected by cancer.

"It has been a pleasure working with Macmillan Cancer Support, Kettering General Hospital and Marshdale Construction to develop this calming and welcoming centre which will be of huge benefit to the local area.”

The centre, located near the hospital’s main outpatients entrance, is open from Monday to Friday between 9am and 4pm. No appointment is needed. You can also contact the centre on 01536 493888 or email [email protected]