Duchess of York opens teenage cancer centre at Western

Posted on 19/12/2013 by


Sarah, Duchess of York has opened a £1.35m facility at Edinburgh’s Western General Hospital for young people with cancer. The Duchess chatted to some of the first young patients to benefit from the new facilities at the Western.

About 200 young people are diagnosed with cancer in Scotland every year.

This new, state-of-the-art facility created in partnership with NHS Lothian offers young cancer patients from the Lothians, Borders, Fife and Dumfries and Galloway a place to receive treatment where they can feel at home.

The facility also offers young cancer patients the best possible care and support as well as the best possible access to treatment options via the specialist team of nursing and support staff, all experts in teenager and young adult cancer care. The additional support local patients will now be able to receive from each other is also an invaluable part of this new service.

Bethany Millar-Gourlay, 19, was diagnosed with Leukaemia last summer and is one of the first patients to use the new facilities. Bethany said: “I used to come to the adult ward for treatment and I was the youngest there. Although the other patients were very kind to me I did miss people my own age and having things to do. I’m now having my maintenance chemotherapy at this new unit and it so different. It looks great and there’s a lot to do.”

The new unit that is vibrant and colourful, decorated in purple, green and blue with eye-catching wall designs featuring the Edinburgh skyline. It has four single patient bedrooms with en suite bathrooms. It also boasts a large open-plan activity and social room which includes a kitchen and dining area, as well as an area to watch TV, a jukebox, and a gaming area.

There’s also a day care room for outpatient treatment and a quiet room where young people and their families can spend time. Wi-fi throughout the unit also allows young patients to keep in touch with friends and family in the outside world.

Dawn Crosby, Teenage Cancer Trust head of service strategy in Scotland said: “This unit looks amazing but more than that, it will significantly improve young cancer patients experience, helping them and their families feel less alone.

“All of the money has been raised locally in a really difficult financial climate. We want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has given generously and helped make this happen.”