Date: 23 August 2017
A purpose-built cancer centre has created a fantastic environment for research to flourish at Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust.
The integrated oncology unit opened inside the Ladysmith Building in January 2017 as part of a joint venture between Macmillan Cancer Support and the Trust.
The new facility has brought vital cancer treatment, care and support together under one roof for the first time at the hospital.
In addition, it has provided an excellent, centralised location for the Trust’s research department which has a particularly strong focus on oncology studies.
Supported by NIHR CRN Greater Manchester, the Trust’s four research nurses - soon to rise to four-and-a-half full-time equivalents – and two Clinical Trials Administrators are based together in the state-of-the-art Macmillan unit.
The team has access to the centre’s outpatient services, chemotherapy suite, haematology services, along with its consulting and therapy rooms.
Research patients also benefit from the unit’s welcoming kitchen and play facilities, dedicated volunteer service, and new Macmillan Information and Support Centre.
Stephanie Ridgway, Senior Oncology Research Nurse, said: “We are lucky to have such a fantastic working environment which, crucially for us as staff, has physically brought us together and improved communication.
“It’s also a great advantage to have our colleagues from Macmillan in the same centre, where we can quickly and conveniently tap into their experience and share expertise.
“For patients, it has offered them the chance to undergo chemotherapy on their doorstep, in a lovely environment with full clinical and emotional support.
“It feels like a real step forward for the community of Tameside.”
The latest NIHR CRN figures showed that the Trust enjoyed another successful year in which it increased both its number of active research studies and number of participants recruited to studies.
The number of studies rose from 26 to 28 (an eight per cent increase), while the number of participants rose from 625 to 771 (a 23 per cent increase).
Rebecca Roberts, Research and Governance Manager at the Trust, said: !It’s great to see an increase in research activity within the Trust and the new Macmillan unit provides the potential to increase activity further and therefore provide patients with more opportunities to participate in research.
"We have a small research team here at Tameside Hospital, however they are very proactive, and this is evident from the recruitment figures. We are fortunate to have a research team that not only work well together but also with the clinicians and patients."
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