Benches in parks or at beauty spots have always been a popular way of saying thank you or celebrating the life of a loved one.

Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust is offering families the opportunity to do the same in the rebuilt and extended centre for cancer patients at Southport hospital.

“We had two fantastically generous donations of half-a-million pounds for the bricks and mortar as well as more than £350,000 from patients and their
families,” said Sister Julie Marshall, who has day-to-day responsibility for the medical day unit.

“However, the centre will look even better if we can fit it out with brand new furniture rather than using current stock which is looking past it’s best and will eventually need replacing.”

The chairs Julie particularly wants to replace are used by patients receiving chemotherapy treatment on day visits to the hospital. They are specially adapted to meet the needs of patients who may be in them for hours at a time.

But such adaptations don’t come cheap and each chair costs £3250 – and the cancer centre needs at least 25.

“That’s why we’re offering the opportunity to local families, businesses and individuals to remember a loved one or say thank you to staff with the gift of £3250 to fund the purchase of a chair,” said Julie.

Photo above shows (L-R) Sister Julie Marshall and Sister Gemma Alston, Medical Day Unit

The names of those making the donation will be marked on an honours board in the centre.

The refurbishment will see the cancer centre, known as the medical day unit, will significantly expanded in size internally as well as having a semi-circular lounge extension added. It will create a light, airy treatment space for patients, some of whom require up to eight hours of chemotherapy at a time. There will also be new consulting rooms and a more comfortable waiting area for patients.

The Marina Dalglish Appeal and West Lancashire Community Hospice Association each gave =A3500,000 towards the project. Southport Lions Club members have also given £32,500.

Sister Julie added: “Developing the unit will mean we can continue to treat more people locally rather than them facing long journeys to specialist ce=
ntres elsewhere.”

Currently, patients who attend clinics run by Clatterbridge Cancer Centre staff are seen in Ward B at Ormskirk hospital. Everyone else is treated in the former Ward 11a on the first floor at Southport hospital.

All patients will return to the refurbished unit when the work is complete towards the end of October.

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