A date has been set for building work to begin on the long awaited new Pevensey Unit for cancer patients.
Hospital bosses say the finishing touches are being put to design plans for the multi-million pound state of the art facility at the District General Hospital with building work set to begin in October.
In the meantime the hospital revealed this week the existing Pevensey Day Unit has temporarily expanded into a new ward area offering patients undergoing chemotherapy and transfusions, along with the staff treating them, far more space.
Pevensey Unit staff have taken the opportunity to temporarily move the day unit into a bigger area while design plans are finalised and pre-building work is undertaken before building work starts on the new Pevensey Unit.
A hospital spokesperson told the Herald, “Building work is expected to start in October on a new haematology/oncology suite which will have an expanded day unit offering new treatment facilities, providing a high quality patient experience.
“A new in-patients suite will consist of eleven side rooms with en-suite facilities offering greater privacy and dignity, and include an adolescent room along with more social space for patients and staff as well as two spacious light and airy three bedded bays,”
Pevensey Unit matron Jean Baulcomb said, “While the designs and pre-building work are finalised we took the opportunity to offer our day unit patients an expanded area to have their treatment.
“It allows us to treat patients in two single bay areas giving them greater privacy and more comfort as well as single rooms for various tests and investigations.
“The expanded area gives us a flavour of what we can expect in our new haematology/oncology suite and day unit once it is built which will be double the size of the current unit.”
The news has been welcomed by campaigners and fundraisers who have spent years holding events to raise money to help equip the new building including Sue O’Hara, who set up the Tuesday O’Hara Fund with her husband Frank after their daughter Tuesday lost her battle with leukaemia and the family and friends of Chris Lambird, a popular sportsman and businessman who died of cancer.
The Friends of Eastbourne Hospital collected more than £500,000 towards the new unit and chair Peter Nash said, “This project has been a long time coming and has been a source of frustration over recent years.
“We are hopeful the unit will soon have detailed plans and building work can start.”