Margaret organised a great get-together for 3 days in York which was brilliantly organised and included a day at the Magnolia Centre and Chemotherapy Wing of York Hospital.
Some might wonder why 10 or so women would want to spend yet another day in a cancer centre when we already spend so much time in hospital. Well, No 1, we were going as Delegates and not patients and that felt very empowering. We were treated to a day in a unit where the staff are proud of their facilities and their team - and what a team that was!
The first thing we noticed as we walked through the hospital was that every member of staff looked up and smiled as they passed in the corridor. That doesn't cost anything but what a difference it makes!
The oncology team had a vision which included a centre for advice and support including complimentary therapies, a shop for headwear and cooling pillows, a meeting room, counselling rooms and at the heart of it all a large spacious and quiet area with comfy sofas and a coffee machine for patients and their supporters.
We had a tour of the chemotherapy day unit and consulting rooms. The staff chuckled at my excitement when I spotted a computer in the first consulting room, and they laughed even more at my amazement when I discovered there was a computer in EVERY consulting room. Rooms were not the size of broom cupboards furnished with a couch and 3 plastic chairs but they were bright, and spacious and each was equipped with a desk, telephone, PC, and comfortable seating. The nursing staff had even thought of organising mirrors in each room so patients who'd been stretched out on a couch for an examination could check their wigs were straight before emerging from the consultation.
The impression I got was that there was a will from all staff at that hospital to provide excellent facilities. The team had maximised funding from the Trust, from a strong York Hospital fundraising group and from Macmillan . It was incredibly well-organised and well-thought out and much of this appeared to be due to the dynamism of the nursing team who had taken an active part in shaping the vision and a feeling that the whole team were all pulling in the same direction.
I've added a photo of a corner of a consulting room. This is NHS provision and something to be proud of.