Work gets underway next week (Monday 7 January 2019) on a project to create a new Oncology unit at Noble’s Hospital, offering Island residents an expanded, state-of-the-art facility.
The purpose-built unit will arise from the conversion of the hospital’s former Ward 5. It will provide therapy areas, several single patient rooms, clinic rooms within a new outpatients’ suite, dedicated waiting areas and a much improved working environment for doctors and nurses.
Patients attending for chemotherapy will have direct access to the new oncology unit, which has been designed with its front door opening directly onto a new parking area. It will mean patients can come and go without using the main entrance at Noble’s or having to walk through hospital corridors, so reducing the risk of infection. Easy access to facilities and privacy are a priority for many patients and it’s hoped the dedicated entrance will benefit those making regular visits.
The unit has been made possible thanks to the generosity of the Eric and Marion Scott Trust which has provided the majority of funding for the project. The new unit will provide 10 chemotherapy stations in bays reserved for men and women, an increase on the current six chemo stations in one bay. A unique feature will be a room reserved for young adult patients which is being kindly supported by Island charity Bridge the Gap.
Oncology facilities at Noble’s are currently based in the Newlands building, located in the grounds of Noble’s but unconnected to the main hospital. Rehousing oncology within the main hospital building has become a priority, to ensure swift access to other facilities in an emergency and to provide a permanent hub for oncology specialist clinicians and nurses. To achieve this, the conversion of Ward 5 was a central part of the reorganisation of inpatient facilities at Noble’s in early 2018.
Island developers SCS were appointed contractors for the project in December 2018 after an open procurement process. The firm secured the site and moved plant and facilities into place over the Christmas holiday period. The project involves the careful sealing of former Ward 5 to contain the works, the creation of temporary new entrances to adjoining wards and installation of sound-proofing, to minimise disruption to staff and patients.
Health and Social Care Minister David Ashford said:
‘After much planning and preparation, I’m delighted to see work is finally getting underway. We’ve been exacting in our specification for the new Oncology unit, which will provide better facilities for patients and improve their overall experience, whether coming for their initial appointment or attending chemotherapy sessions.
I offer the Department’s sincere thanks to the Eric and Marion Scott Scott Trust, whose support for projects to improve the healthcare of our population is well known and widely admired.’
‘Having a building project take place within a busy working hospital is a demanding exercise. It’s logistically complex but I have every confidence SCS will deliver the project with minimum disruption – although inevitably, there will be some. I also thank in advance staff based in wards adjoining the work site for the unlimited patience and professionalism I’m sure they will show amid the upheaval.’
A spokesman for the Eric and Marion Scott Trust said:
‘The Trust has provided funding towards a number of significant healthcare projects over recent years. When approached to assist with providing a facility which brings together specialist Oncology services for cancer patients on the Island to enhance their care, we were very happy to help. The Trustees particularly welcome the inclusion of a separate hospital entrance and dedicated car park for chemotherapy patients in the design. There’s space for the unit to expand in the future and it will provide better facilities for staff. We're pleased that the Department has agreed to name the new unit The Eric and Marion Scott Oncology Unit in lasting recognition of the generous benefactors.’
Contractors are due to complete their work in late spring; the unit will then be furnished and fitted out before opening in the summer.