In May 2018, the Solihull Haematology and Oncology Day Unit was built due to the increasing strains and pressures on the chemotherapy department Ward 19 at Heartlands Hospital.
The stresses meant that chemotherapy patients at Heartlands Hospital were having their treatments delayed and new patients were being put onto a waiting list.
However, due to the very generous support of local charities and businesses, the new unit at Solihull has been able to offer an extension of chemotherapy treatment to thousands more patients and overall, the number of patients that can now be treated, has increased by an amazing 170%.
At Solihull Hospital, some patient’s chemotherapy treatments can range from three to six sessions over a number of days and each session can sometimes last for up to 10 hours per day. Therefore, many patients and their families can find this a very stressful and uncomfortable time.
In order to match the excellent care and treatment now available at the unit, the hospital charity is currently appealing for donations towards a major £100,000 project to improve the interior and exterior of the unit.
As part of this project, we would like to create a safe, relaxing and therapeutic area outside the unit to help alleviate the stresses that the thousands of our chemotherapy patients face. Our aim is to provide our patients and their relatives with a tranquil therapy garden filled with beautiful plants, a private gazebo and space to plant herbs and vegetables. Gardening can be an excellent way for people recovering from cancer treatment to raise their levels of physical activity, as it involves gentle movements and helps to build up strength over a period of time. Tending to plants or flowers and watching them grow often enables people to regain a sense of control, offers time for reflection, and helps provide a tranquil space in which to spend time with loved ones. After a cancer diagnosis, it can often seem like you are no longer in control of your life - that cancer has taken over and with it comes a myriad of doctors and hospital visits. Spending time working gently in a garden environment or sitting absorbing the tranquillity of nature, goes part way to giving patients back some of the control - and in helping to create something beautiful or delicious, they will be 'making the world a better place.’
Image pictured: Dave Green Garden design
UHB Charity is also funding beautiful wall vinyls to decorate the interior of the unit. Natural scenery such as lavender, blossoms and other scenic views are pictured throughout the unit, giving patients a more visually pleasing and homely feel as opposed to a harsh and clinical environment. Patients and families have already expressed what a difference the new vibrant décor has made to the unit.
One cancer patient on the unit said: “I love the colour schemes and designs on all the walls, it makes me feel so much more positive and relaxed whilst receiving my treatment. It also gives my Wife something else to look at!”
Justine Davy, Head of Fundraising at UHB Charity said: “Thanks to our wonderful charity supporters, we have been able to provide a collection of stunning wall vinyls across the whole unit. We hope to extend this positivity towards the Unit’s new garden areas, creating a therapeutic and private area for patients to have a break from their treatment. As a charity we aim to go ‘over and above’ for our cancer patients, we want our patients to feel as comfortable as possible in their surroundings and make the unit a home away from home.”
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