Boost for teen cancer patients at Beaumont

Fiona Dillon

A SPECIAL room has been created for teenagers with cancer to help them through their frequent trips for chemotherapy at Dublin's Beaumont Hospital.

Around €750,000 has been invested to improve facilities for the treatment of cancer patients at the hospital.

There has been a growing demand for chemotherapy treatments provided on a day- case basis, as well as the treatment of patients with haematological cancers. Last year, some 14,000 such treatments were provided at the hospital.

The improved facilities -- which saw space within the hospital reconfigured and refurbished -- were officially opened on Friday. They are designed to enhance the environment for patients, especially in respect of privacy, light and space.

The improved facilities comprise movement of the day oncology ward into larger, refurbished premises, and the renovation of its former facilities to provide larger, better space for the Colman K Byrnes unit for haematological cancers.

As well as day treatments, patients attending the two units can go directly to these areas for support when necessary, avoiding the need to go to the emergency department.

The day oncology ward now has consultation rooms which can also be used as a family meeting rooms and for multi-disciplinary team meetings.

Medics said: "It will now also be possible to focus on the unique needs of our younger patients with cancer by the formation of our teenage room where we have focused on practical issues unique to younger patients, to help them through frequent trips for chemotherapy."

The new facilities were opened by Dr Susan O'Reilly, the director of the national cancer control programme.

Beaumont's CEO Liam Duffy said that the hospital "as a designated cancer centre, has had significant investment in a state-of-the-art mammography unit, a rapid access prostate unit and cancer services, a new radiotherapy oncology facility which will be formally opened by the Minister for Health next week, and now greatly improved facilities for day patients and patients with haematological cancers".