The annual campaign is organised by cancer charity Hope for Tomorrow, who provide United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust’s (ULHT) mobile chemotherapy unit ‘Elaine’, which has been out and about in local communities all week.
Mobile chemotherapy units (MCUs) help reduce the stress for cancer patients and their loved ones of driving long distances and enduring waiting times for chemotherapy treatment at main oncology centres.
Elaine was launched in April 2014 and is named in memory of the wife of a senior member of the Mark Master Masons in Lincolnshire, who sadly passed away from cancer.
Since hitting the road, Elaine has saved patients over 120,000 miles and more than 10,000 hours in waiting times.
The MCU is a joint initiative between ULHT and Hope for Tomorrow and delivers chemotherapy to eligible patients in Louth, Grantham and Skegness. Plans are also in place to extend the service to the Spalding area, to benefit even more patients.
Deputy sister on the mobile chemotherapy unit, Lynn Cockerill, said: “We treat approximately 100 patients a month with all types of cancer. There are only certain types of chemotherapy that can be delivered on the mobile unit, but for those who are eligible the unit saves patients from travelling long distances and is able to deliver chemotherapy closer to home.
“We are so grateful to all of our supporters and to everyone who gets involved to help us continue bringing this vital service to patients.
“Many patients comment about how much this eases their stress as well as being in a more relaxed, comfortable atmosphere.
“The patients see a familiar face and we are someone they can turn to if they need advice or any help if they need sign posting to other services available such as Macmillan or social services.”
Since the launch of the unit, some patient comments have included:
“It’s like meeting up with friends for a coffee morning!”
“It saves me so much time and stress from all the travelling and waiting.”
“It’s lovely to see the same familiar faces and it’s so much more relaxed an environment.”
Elaine will be parked at Tesco in Skegness on Friday 13 October between 12pm and 2pm for people to get on board and talk to staff about the service.