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Cancer Centre celebrates top environment award

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Macmillan award

A centre that supports cancer patients throughout Warwickshire is celebrating receiving an award that recognises high standards of the environment in which it provides advice and support to people affected by cancer and their families.

The Macmillan Cancer Information Centre at the George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton has been awarded a Macmillan Quality Environment Mark (MQEM) for offering high standards of care for people affected by cancer.

The award, given by Macmillan Cancer Support, is the first in the UK that specifically assesses how well buildings such as chemotherapy units and information centres provide support and care to people affected by cancer.

The Macmillan Cancer Information Centre is situated at the main entrance of the hospital and was first opened in May 2012. It offers people affected by cancer, carers and relatives access to good quality, comprehensive and appropriate information and support. There is also a Macmillan benefits advisor within the centre on a regular basis offering holistic advice and support on benefits, debt and other issues.

Julie Smith, Macmillan Information and Support Manager at the centre said: “We are thrilled to receive this prestigious award. We couldn’t have done it without the help of all the staff and volunteers who work at the centre on a daily basis. The work everyone does here is phenomenal and goes a long way to helping us maintain high standards of care for people affected by cancer in Warwickshire.”

Susan Pegg from Weddington, near Nuneaton has been supported by the team at the Macmillan Cancer Information Centre. She said “I am extremely grateful for everything Julie and Garfield have done for me and want to thank them so much for all their help, especially with the financial support. They also arrange for me to attend a three day health and wellbeing course at the George Eliot hospital facilitated by Penny Brohn, which was greatly appreciated following my treatment and has set me on the right road to recovery.”

The Macmillan Quality Environment Mark helps to ensure that people affected by cancer are treated and supported in physical environments of uniformly high quality. The scheme is open to any healthcare providers from the public, voluntary or private sectors that operate cancer care buildings. It has been developed in collaboration with people living with cancer and organisations including the Department of Health in England.

Monica Burchell, Macmillan Development Manager for Warwickshire said: “This award reflects the hard work and dedication of the team that designed the centre and all the staff and volunteers who work to make it a welcoming and supportive environment for patients and their families.

“To receive the award, environments have to score highly in areas such as use of space, comfort and atmosphere, personal and social interaction and health and well being.  Consideration is given to such things as the greeting people receive when they come to a centre, the use of natural light and outdoor space, and the availability of quiet, private rooms – all areas that were highlighted as really important by people living with cancer who helped develop the award.”

George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust Chief Executive, Kevin McGee, said: “We’re extremely proud of the service Julie and her team of volunteers provide to people at such a difficult time of their life. This award is further recognition of the fantastic job they do.”

Organisations can apply to be assessed for the Macmillan Quality Environment Mark via www.macmillan.org.uk/cancerenvironments.

To find out more about the work of Macmillan Cancer Support visit www.macmillan.org.uk or call 0808 808 0000.

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