A £2.2million chemotherapy unit which will improve provision for cancer patients is to open at Solihull Hospital.
Work is scheduled to start soon to transform an empty ward into a modern new facility which has been specifically designed to meet the needs of chemotherapy patients.
The investment by the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, with the support of Solihull Hospital Charity, will also create 51 new jobs.
The new centre will allow people living with cancer to have better access to treatment and will create a more peaceful and relaxed environment. It will initially have 24 patient treatment chairs and this is expected to rise to 31 within three years.
Benefits of the new unit include a garden, a quiet room for patients, easier parking and a separate entrance to the main hospital building.
At the moment, all chemotherapy patients treated by the Trust, which runs Solihull Hospital, Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham and Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield as well as Birmingham Chest Clinic and Solihull Community Services, are cared for on Ward 19 at Heartlands or at the Sheldon Unit at Good Hope.
Over the past four years there has been a greater need for chemotherapy treatment at Heartlands and this move will ease some of the pressure there. Some patients with more complex needs will still be given chemotherapy at Heartlands.
The new unit, which will be in the former Bruce Burns Unit at Solihull Hospital in Lode Lane, should also mean that patients should get seen more quickly.
Sharon Rogers, Group Manager for Oncology for the Trust, said: “This new unit will make a big difference to patients who are undergoing chemotherapy and supportive treatments.
“It has been designed specifically with patients in mind and it will be purpose built for this sort of treatment. All in all, it will be a much better experience for people who need chemotherapy.”
The new unit will benefit patients from across the whole area covered by the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust but for patients in Solihull it will mean they can have chemotherapy closer to home than at present.
Among the new staff being recruited there will be extra nurses, a dietician, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, consultants and support staff.
The Bruce Burns Unit was formerly a centre run for people with mental health issues.