New cancer centre build begins

Construction work is underway to create the new centre at Lincoln.
Construction work is underway to create the new centre at Lincoln.

A cancer survivor has spoken about how Macmillan helped her to battle her illness - as construction begins on the charity’s new support centre.

Macmillan Cancer Support is working with United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) to develop a new modernised and high-standard centre - which is due to open at Lincoln County Hospital this November.

Claire Walker, from Sleaford, pictured during her cancer treatment, left, and after she was given the 'all clear'. Images supplied.

Claire Walker, from Sleaford, pictured during her cancer treatment, left, and after she was given the 'all clear'. Images supplied.

Once built, the new facility will be able to help more people like Claire Walker from Sleaford - who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015.

As well as having support from her Macmillan nurse, Claire visited the current centre at Lincoln Hospital where she was supported by centre manager, Bev. Bev was there to offer emotional support and signpost Claire to other services.

“Bev has helped me in many ways during my treatment,” explained Claire.

“She has showed me how to claim a one-off Macmillan grant to help me with money worries. I used it to pay for petrol to travel to hospital and for scarves when I lost my hair. She has been there for me every step of the way, even talking to my husband, telling him what could happen during chemotherapy treatment. Bev is amazing.

“Having the new Macmillan Cancer Support Centre in the Outpatients Entrance will benefit so many more people with cancer.

“A lot of people don’t know about the current centre. I think a lot more patients and their friends and family will use it now. Chemotherapy can really zap the energy out of you, so it’ll be great to have a more comfortable space.”

She added: “I’m sure I will utilise the new centre in some way, even though I have had the ‘all clear,’ as I am still going through reconstruction treatment and, as all cancer patients will tell you, the diagnosis always stays in the back of your mind.”

Fran Sharp, Macmillan Cancer information and support service lead at ULHT said: “We are thrilled that construction is now underway. We’re very excited to be able to offer patients and their loves ones a welcoming, comfortable and relaxed environment instead of this small, temporary location we currently have.

“Patients will no longer have to sit and wait in a corridor, we’ll have nice new chairs where they can wait and be supported by one of our trained volunteers.

“Also, we can now extend our range of services to offer people with cancer things like wig fitting and welfare benefits advice.”

Ruth Willis, Macmillan Partnership manager, added: “The new centre will enable us to support more patients not just with health-related issues but financially and emotionally as well, so whatever cancer throws your way, we’re right there with you.

“Our ongoing work, the Lincolnshire Living With Cancer Programme, has shown that people living with and beyond cancer in Lincolnshire are not getting enough information and support - and we need to change that.

“Macmillan is funding this new centre to be able to reach more people with cancer in the county and help them live life as fully as they can.”