Express & Star

Chemotherapy unit moved to Kidderminster due to Covid-19 will return to Redditch

A chemotherapy unit which was moved to Kidderminster during the pandemic as a way of protecting patients will return home, it has been confirmed.

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Kidderminster Hospital

The Garden Suite, which provides a range of outpatient chemotherapy treatments, was set up in a separate building at Kidderminster Hospital in 2020.

It was shifted in response to the outbreak of Covid-19 but it will return home to Alexandra Hospital, in Redditch, potentially by the end of next month.

Matthew Hopkins, chief executive of the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, which manages the Alexandra and Kidderminster Hospitals, as well as Worcestershire Royal, said: “Our priority has to be the safety of our patients, but we are also keen to provide care as close as home as possible for all our patients.

"We always said the Garden Suite move to Kidderminster was a temporary one, and that as soon as we could identify a suitable location, we would bring it back to the Alexandra.

“We have heard from a number of patients, staff, and local stakeholders, how keen they are for us to return Garden Suite to the Alexandra, and in putting this plan into effect so rapidly we have done exactly what we said we were going to do, while also maintaining ambulatory chemotherapy services at Kidderminster and Worcestershire Royal as well.”

The unit was based in Kidderminster's Harvington Ward, which is part of the site managed by the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care Trust – allowing the organisation to increase the number of community bids there to ease urgent care pressures.

Mr Hopkins added: "We are very grateful to our partners at the Health and Care Trust to allow us to use Harvington Ward for the Garden Suite, but with pressures on our urgent and emergency care services remaining high, the creation of additional community bed capacity will make a significant contribution to the joint effort that health and care organisations across Worcestershire are making to improve patient flow, reduce pressure on emergency departments and ensure timely ambulance handovers.”

And the suite will be housed at the Alexandra's Ward 1 which is currently used as a discharge lounge for patients who are waiting to go home following an inpatient stay. Work is under way regarding decorating work, with the remaining area used as a redesigned discharge lounge.

Chemotherapy services will also continue to be provided at Kidderminster and Worcestershire Royal Hospitals. Patients whose future appointments will be at the Garden Suite will be contacted directly.