First patients treated at the new £3 million Lister Macmillan Cancer Centre

The Lister Macmillan Cancer Centre at the Lister Hospital, Stevenage, has opened its doors and welcomed its first cancer patients.

The chemothearpy suite in the new Lister Macmillan Cancer Centre team

The new centre, funded jointly by Macmillan Cancer Support and the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, has doubled the chemotherapy capacity of the hospital’s previous unit. The new building will reduce overcrowding and contains a dedicated information and support centre for patients and families, as well as two gardens for patients to relax in while undergoing treatment.

Sandra Pestell, 46, from Stevenage, was one of the first patients to be treated in the new unit when it opened to patients. She said:

“I have been treated at The Lister since 2013. The nurses are all lovely but the conditions in the old unit were very cramped. I didn’t like that from the waiting room you could see people being treated. If you’re not used to it, that can be a bit scary.

“The new unit is lovely. It’s so much bigger and brighter. There are two waiting areas and the bigger space means you have more privacy during treatment.”

The Lister Macmillan Cancer Centre also provides:

  • consistent access to a team of Macmillan welfare benefits advisors who can help patients with their financial worries
  • a greater number of consultation rooms to allow patients more privacy
  • more working areas for Lister nurses and other clinical staff to prepare drugs, improving efficiency and reducing waiting times

Margaret Pike, 78, was one of the first patients to be treated at The Lister Macmillan Cancer Centre. She said:

“The old unit was a long walk from the main entrance and I struggled to get back and forth for appointments. The unit was cramped and I couldn’t always get a seat in the waiting room.

“The new unit is so much better. My first impression is of a more spacious unit that is very bright and has lots of comfortable chairs!”

Alex Gallagher, Macmillan Quality and Service Improvement Manager at the Lister, said: “This project has been some time in the planning, fundraising and building so I’m delighted to see it all come together today in the opening of the brand new centre. Our aim all along has been to provide patients with the best possible environment for their cancer care so it’s fantastic to see patients in the new centre and hear their feedback on the improvements this build has made.”

The Lister Macmillan Cancer Centre team (or at least some of them)

The total cost for developing the Lister Macmillan Cancer Centre is £3 million. The East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust has contributed half the costs and Macmillan Cancer Support is fundraising a further £1.5 million.