After months under construction, the new Macmillan Cancer Support Centre at Kettering General Hospital has welcomed its first patient.
Shaped by local people living with cancer, the brand new state-of-the art cancer centre brings together a range of vital cancer information and support services under one roof.
It will provide cancer information, practical and emotional support as well as advice on welfare benefits, wig-fitting and signposting to other local services.
The new centre fills a much-needed gap in support for the 24,000 people living with and beyond cancer in Northamptonshire.
First patient welcomes the new centre
Leanne Hills, 43, from Stanwick was the first patient to walk through the doors.
She 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.
Leanne said: “It was so lovely to meet her face to face after all this time! When I was diagnosed, I didn’t know where to turn. Danielle has been amazing at relieving my worries and helping with benefits. Having somebody else to talk to has really helped. She’s become like a friend.
"Now, to have a physical centre to go to is amazing. The things that they’re going to do are brilliant. So much thought has gone into that little building, it’s going to help so many people.”
Leanne described the centre as ‘light and welcoming’ and praised the private room designed for one on one emotional support.
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. I’m so glad that room is there for other people.”
The centre has been designed by GSS Architecture and funded by Macmillan and 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 try and support patients with non-clinical needs as well. This brilliant new centre offers a comfortable space where our highly-trained staff can support a variety of different needs that come with a cancer diagnosis and enable 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 hospital.”
Andrew Vallis, Associate and Project Architect at GSSArchitecture 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.”
How to use the new centre
The centre, is located near the hospital's main entrance and is open Monday – Friday, 9am until 4pm. No appointment is needed. You can also contact the centre on 01536 493888 or email email@example.com. Alternatively you can call the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 00 00 or visit macmillan.org.uk