Posted on Monday 17 December 2012
Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, paid a visit earlier this week (December 11) to the Cancer Day Unit at Guy’s where he spent time chatting to patients and staff to find out more about their treatment and the services we provide.
The Secretary of State was welcomed by Clinical Director for Cancer Services, Dr Maj Kazmi and shown around the unit by Sister Minie Salvador, Matron Precie Mahinay and Head of Nursing Mairead Griffin. He seemed very impressed with all that he saw, including the spectacular views from the 10th floor of Guy’s Tower, which help to create a bright and relaxing atmosphere for patients.
He also met representatives from the cancer services user group, Anna Torode and Karen Sorensen, who explained some of the practical ideas that patients have been able to feed into both the physical design of the unit, as well as the way that care is organised to best meet the patients’ needs.
For example, wherever possible, patients are cared for in bays with other patients being treated for the same type of tumour as they find this supportive and helpful.
The Secretary of State was also able to see the plans for the new Cancer Treatment Centre at Guy’s, for which we recently secured planning permission, before having a discussion with a range of clinical staff including Ruth Wallis, Director of Public Health for Lambeth and Southwark.
As well as asking for ideas about how we can improve UK survival rates for cancer patients, the Secretary of State was keen to share some of his ideas about how we can make services work better for patients. Following a lively and interesting discussion, he left to attend the Britain Against Cancer conference, where some of the country’s leading cancer experts were no doubt considering similar issues.
Commenting on the visit, Minie said: “It was a pleasure to show the Secretary of State the unit and the work that we do. I think he really appreciated the opportunity to chat to patients about their experiences.”