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Last Updated: Monday, 2 February, 2004, 07:16 GMT
New 2m cancer unit opens
Breast cancer screening
Breast cancer can be spotted by screening
A 2m day care centre for cancer patients will officially open on Monday, four years after the initial fundraising effort began.

The new Shooting Star Centre at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital will provide a day ward for patients requiring chemotherapy and blood transfusions.

There will also be a designated women's clinic, for patients with or without cancer.

Hayley Wilson was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago, she received chemotherapy at the Maelor Hospital but says the new unit is just what patients need.

"When you're first diagnosed with any form of cancer obviously your initial reaction, well, everyone thinks the worst," she said.

I just hope the patients who come here find it a relevant and appropriate environment
Andy Scotson, NHS Trust

"All the patients here can bond together.

"It's lovely, it's just what they needed...obviously the treatment will not be any different to what patients had received.....but it's the privacy of it.

"You're in a waiting room where you know all the other patients are there for the same reason, and you're not intimidated in anyway.

"Speaking from experience you go to one end of the hospital for an X-ray, maybe another end of the hospital for a mammogram..it's all entwined here which is much better," she added.

The hospital serves 300,000 people and it is hoped the new unit, with specially designed accommodation, will make patients feel more comfortable.

'Mammoth effort'

Fundraisers throughout north east Wales contributed more than 1m towards the unit and a further 1.4m was awarded from the lottery distributor, the New Opportunities Fund.

Staff at the new centre have worked hard to ensure the unit is aesthetically pleasing for patients and their relatives.

Art work by local artists is in place on the centre's walls and soft furnishings have been used to ensure the surroundings are as comfortable as possible.

"We've got a patio area so in the summer months we'll have some tables and chairs so people can sit outside. Tiny things like that make a big difference," said cancer services manager Yvonne Lush.

North East Wales NHS Trust spokesman, Andy Scotson said fundraisers had made a "mammoth effort" to raise the money.

"I just hope the patients who come here find it a relevant and appropriate environment," he added.


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