United star opens new cancer unit

Newcastle United's Shola Ameobi visiting the Oncology Unit at North Tyneside General Hospital to officially open it.
Newcastle United's Shola Ameobi visiting the Oncology Unit at North Tyneside General Hospital to officially open it.

A new cancer treatment unit has been opened in the borough.

Newcastle United striker Shola Ameobi was the guest of honour to unveil a commemorative plaque to open the new oncology unit at North Tyneside General Hospital.

And he also planted a tree in the grounds to mark the start of work on a special garden for patients receiving treatment at the unit.

Shola also took time out to talk to staff, special guests and patients before cutting a cake.

Among those he met last Friday were artist Emily Ward who donated a large painting to the unit, volunteer Margaret Henry who provides complimentary therapies for patients, and Elsie Grounsell who supports patients with help and advice about hair loss.

The new unit has a wide range of treatments including chemotherapy and some of the newer drugs available from the Cancer Drug Fund.

Patients can have treatment for toxicity management, symptom control and other procedures such as blood transfusions, reducing the need for patients to stay in hospital.

There are single procedure rooms ensuring privacy and dignity for cancer patients, with the environment being bright and modern as well as two large chemotherapy treatment bays to meet a wide variety of patient’s needs.

Day unit manager Allison Nielsen said: “Our patients can feel very vulnerable so we wanted to make sure we have a bright and positive feel to the unit, hence the comfortable chairs and soft furnishings.

“The fact that the unit has its own entrance with convenient parking is really important for them too.”