Chemotherapy services set to expand at N&N

The opening of the radiotherapy cancer treatment unit, the Winterton Unit, at the Norfolk and Norwic

The opening of the radiotherapy cancer treatment unit, the Winterton Unit, at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, by the Duke of Gloucester. The Duke of Gloucester is shown the linear accelerator machine by Fran Hall, radiographer manager. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: copyright: Archant 2014

Chemotherapy services at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital are set to get a boost to meet a growing need for more treatment space.

Officials are looking to increase the size of the Weybourne day unit at the Colney Centre so that they can offer more therapy to patients to help them fight their cancer.

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The unit has experienced a 30pc increase in activity over the last four years and staff are providing treatments on Saturdays and more recently at Cromer and District Hospital.

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Plans are afoot to increase the number of treatment chairs from 14 chairs to up to 23 chairs as new chemotherapy drugs are approved for use.

The nurse-led Weybourne day unit also carries out blood transfusions, biological treatments, stem cell harvesting, and clinical trials.

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Jo Segasby, director of women's, children's and cancer services at the N&N, said: 'We are looking to extend the Weybourne day unit for chemotherapy because we are doing more chemo than ever before and we are looking to expand that in the next six months.'

'As new drugs come in and we are finding more effective treatments, we are giving more therapy treatment and the new ones may be longer from one hour to two hours,' she said.

The pledge comes after a new radiotherapy unit was opened at the N&N in May, which increased capacity by 25pc.

The Duke of Gloucester officially opened the £4.5m Winterton Unit, which houses a radiotherapy machine that is four times as quick as the hospital's existing linear accelerators.

The N&N treats 2,500 cancer patients a year and performs 34,000 individual treatments a year.

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