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Trust Celebrates Official Opening of Cancer Care Centre

Newsdate: 25 April 2016Cancer Care Centre Opening

WWL was hugely proud to officially open the Cancer Care Centre at the Wigan Infirmary site, on Friday 22 April.

An award-winning endeavour by our Trust, the building has been operational for patients for just over a year and celebrated its first birthday in January. The building was made possible by a solid partnership between WWL, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust and MacMillan Cancer Support. It opened to patients in January 2015.

The purpose of the centre was to provide the people of the Wigan Borough a place where they could undergo chemotherapy treatment closer to home, rather than having to travel to Manchester. It cost £5Dr Andrew Wardman million to build and the ground-breaking development project was carried out by Barnes Construction.

The special event began at 1.30pm and was attended by many of the great and good of our Borough. Attendees included; Madam Mayor Sue Louden, former Mayor Cllr Phyllis Cullen, the Rt Hon Lisa Nandy MP (Wigan) and the Rt Hon Yvonne Fovargue MP (Makerfield). Also invited were a number of staff, volunteers and donors who had helped to make the centre a possibility. There to officially open the building was Dr Andrew Wardman MBE, who has worked at WWL since 1988. 

Also at the event, WWL was able to unveil its brand new Sensory garden, designed to give chemotherapy patients a place to relax whilstCllr Phyllis Cullen they undergo their treatment. Cllr Cullen was invited to open the garden, as her role as a donor to the centre has been crucially important in ensuring the ambitious project has been completed successfully. Another donor who was present at the event was the wonderful, 8-year-old Macey Dandy, along with her mother, Julie. Macey had raised the incredible sum of £7,000, through a variety of fundraising activities. 

Proceedings began with WWL Chairman Robert Armstrong welcoming everybody to the centre. He opened by saying, “It is my privilege and honour to welcome each and every one of you to our Cancer Care Centre.” He continued by thanking our superb partners in The Christie and Macmillan, expressing his desire that our partnership continues long into the future, demonstrating the same strength it has shown thus far. He also thanked the staff who work at the centre for their tireless work.

He said, “I have to thank the staff of this centre, who take people who are feeling at their worst in their lives and provide them with compassionate care.” Mr Armstrong then introduced Dr Wardman, describing him as one of the most compassionate and caring men he has ever met. He then invited him to conduct the official opening of the Centre.

Dr Wardman was delighted to be able to carry out the opening. He said, “It is not very often that you get to open a building and this one is very dear to my heart.” He continued, “Before this building opened, the great majority of chemotherapy patients in Wigan went to the Christie in Manchester, which is a 60 mile round trip.” He then described the physical and emotional effect chemotherapy can have on patients, which shows how important the work at the Centre is. After his speech, he unveiled a plaque to open the Centre, to rapturous applause.

Shortly after, Robert Forster, WWL Deputy Chief Executive, announced that staff at the Centre had been awarded the Christie NHS Foundation Trust’s Environment Award. Jackie Bird, Chief Nurse at the Christie, presented Leonora Anson, WWL Lead Chemotherapy Nurse, with the award, stating, “Our hope with this centre was that wherever patients had their chemotherapy, they would have the same standard of care… We hope that you wear the Christie Quality Mark with pride, like they do at the Christie.”

A number of other presentations were made, such as the opening of the Complimentary Therapy Room by CANtreat Trustee, Chris Eyres. CANtreat was formed in 2005 by a cancer survivor who wished to fund projects that improve the environment in cancer treatment clinics across the North West of England. Mr Eyres described it as a, “No brainer,” to fund the Complimentary Therapy Room as it was a perfect example of a positive environment in an NHS hospital.

A presentation was also made by Macmillan to showcase the outstanding work they do at the Centre, Anne Marie Kelly, Macmillan Information Manager, giving a speech. WWL Fundraising Officer, Elizabeth Titley, also spoke to demonstrate the outstanding charitable efforts that have gone into the Centre.

Finally, Cllr Cullen was invited to open the Sensory garden, something she was thrilled to do. She said, ““This garden is absolutely beautiful. It is a place where you can gather your thoughts, not just for the patients, but also for their families. Whoever thought of this garden, it is a wonderful idea.”