Last week I pleased to visit the new £2.3 million Pevensey ward at the DGH, ahead of it’s official opening this week.
It was a great pleasure to meet Jean Baulcomb, who is the unit matron for Haematology and Oncology who gave me a tour of the new ward as well as the existing facility where there are 900 treatments a month carried out.
The new ward, which has been part funded by the extraordinary ‘Friends of Eastbourne Hospital’ under the chairmanship of the indefatigable Peter Nash, and supported by funds from other groups including the Tuesday O’Hara fund and the Chris Lambird fund, has been an amazing achievement. There have been delays along the way but to finally see the completed ward is wonderful, and my sincere thanks go to everyone, of which there are countless numbers who have played a part in seeing this new provision become a reality.
This doubles the space of the original ward, allowing patients to be treated with more privacy and dignity – something that is so important to patients who are often suffering with severe forms of cancer.
As we all know our DGH has been the scene of some troubled times in recent years, which is another reason why it is so pleasing to be able to see something so positive happening now. This top new cancer treatment provision for the DGH goes to show that there really are excellent facilities available for local people.
Cancer is something that affects almost everyone one way or another during their lifetimes; either directly or by knowing a loved one who has suffered – and those who fundraise to increase care deserve our full support.
As such I was surprised to receive a letter the other day from a colleague in the House of Commons suggesting I grow a moustache for ‘Movember’, and inviting me to have a wet shave on December 1st to help raise awareness!
Much as I would like to take part, I have passed this particular opportunity to my colleague Ian Lucas who has offered to step in, and will take on moustache growing responsibilities this year.
Just 18 months ago Ian himself had prostate cancer, now thankfully clear, but it does go to highlight that this dreadful disease can affect anybody at anytime, and I am glad I can at least play a part in Movember albeit by proxy!