3 December 2021

Philanthropy Opens Doors For Haematology Patients

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A £12.3 million private charitable donation to NHS Lothian Charity has helped transform services for blood cancer patients across South East Scotland at the newly opened Edinburgh Haematology Centre.

Located at the Western General Hospital, the centre has been rebuilt, expanding and improving day ward facilities, and enabling a major service redesign to enhance the range of treatments on offer.

Now patients can benefit from intensive chemotherapies and innovative treatments, such as outpatient bone marrow transplants saving them up to a three week stay in hospital. A new relatives’ suite and buddy beds also help to better support inpatients.

The donation was gifted by a private donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, to significantly improve the experience at the centre for patients, carers and staff.

“This was an amazingly generous donation which will benefit patients and staff for many years to come”, explains Dr Peter Johnson, a Consultant Haematologist who led on the refurbishment.

“The vision was to create a welcoming, calm, clinically excellent and aesthetically pleasing environment that would help patient wellbeing and was representative of the quality of healthcare being delivered. We are extremely grateful to the donor for this exceptional donation.”

NHS Lothian and NHS Lothian Charity worked with patients and staff on the redesign and to develop an inspirational arts and therapeutic design programme. A series of bespoke artworks and installations made by specialist artists and makers are displayed throughout the centre, helping to create a sense of calm and visual interest.

Jane Ferguson, Director of NHS Lothian Charity explains:

“We can’t thank the donor enough for their generous charitable donation, which has enabled us to take forward creative and innovative techniques to enhance and really elevate the space. Being diagnosed with a serious illness is a traumatic experience so we wanted to create an environment that was warm and comforting and would help reduce some of that anxiety and stress. The end result is truly beautiful and the difference in experience for patients now and in the future will be transformational.”

Fiona Smith, Senior Charge Nurse of Haematology Day Treatment added:

“The changes have really made a huge difference. Care is much more than treatments and medicines.  Being able to provide privacy and a calming environment helps to relax patients and having more space and cutting-edge equipment helps us to do our job even better.”

Neil Clifton is one of the patients benefitting from the new centre. He recently received a stem cell transplant as an outpatient for treatment of Myeloma.  He says:

“It really doesn’t feel like going into a hospital anymore. The centre is much brighter and more pleasant. Having a private room for my treatment in the day unit really helped to make me feel safe and comfortable and being able to receive it as an outpatient is much more convenient.”

The Edinburgh Haematology Centre forms part of a wider masterplan at the Western General Hospital site to improve patient services including significant investment in cancer care and facilities. NHS Lothian also has a vision to build a new Regional Cancer Centre at the hospital site designed to be a world leader for cancer research and innovation.

Take a virtual tour

Hear more about the transformational care delivered in the centre and take a virtual tour:

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