9 January 2020

SaTH and Macmillan Cancer Support are working in partnership with other local charities to build a new Macmillan Cancer Support Service and extend existing services within the Hamar Centre at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH).

SaTH provides counselling and well-being services at the Hamar Centre for individuals with cancer and other life-threatening conditions. The new extension and refurbishment of the centre will see the existing Macmillan Cancer Support Service, which provides information and advice to people living with cancer and their loved ones, being relocated to a larger space within the Hamar Centre, and will include a new quiet room for patients and carers.

Julia Clark, front, with members of the team outside the Hamar Centre.

This is an important addition to the centre given that research by Macmillan Cancer Support reveals that over 70% of people who have a cancer diagnosis need emotional support at some point in their cancer experience.

Every year, 1,900 people in Shropshire are told they have cancer. Between 2010 and 2030, the number of people living with cancer in Shropshire is expected to double. This significant increase in cancer diagnoses means that there is a growing need for cancer information and support for people living with cancer. This is why Macmillan has invested over £380,000 in fundraised income to help deliver the new centre.

The project also includes the construction of an extension to the building, providing more facilities for counselling and well-being services provided by the Trust. By relocating the Macmillan Cancer Support Service and expanding the facilities on offer, staff and volunteers will be able to support more people affected by cancer and other life-threatening conditions in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and mid Wales.

Tudor Humphreys, Macmillan Partnership Manager, said: ‘We are delighted to be working in partnership with The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust to create a new Macmillan Cancer Support Service.

‘Macmillan’s ambition is to ensure that everyone with cancer gets the support they need from the moment they are diagnosed. Planned improvements to the service will mean that this is possible. The extra space and resources will enable staff and volunteers to provide specialist cancer information and support to more people living with cancer throughout Shropshire.’

The new facility will be re-positioned next to the main entrance of the Hamar Centre, making it much more visible and accessible for patients and giving the Macmillan Cancer Support Service the space to expand its offer to include cancer information, welfare benefits advice, emotional and practical support and signposting to support groups and other services.

Julia Clarke, Director of Corporate Services at SaTH, said: ‘I’m delighted that we can expand the physical building and the patient services at the Hamar Centre, where we provide counselling and well-being services for people with cancer and other life-threatening conditions.

‘The financial assistance from Macmillan Cancer Support, Lingen Davies Cancer Fund, The League of Friends of the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and SaTH Charity has enabled us to make these improvements, for which we are very grateful.’

Macmillan Cancer Support is the main funder for the build and the other local charity partners within the Trust have also put forward a total of £120,000 towards the cost of the development.

Shropshire-based building contractors, Pave Aways, won the contract to manage the build through to completion. Steven Owen, Managing Director of Pave Aways, said: ‘Once completed, the new facility will significantly enhance the services on offer to patients across Shropshire, which is fantastic news. As work gets under way, our experience in the health sector means we have the knowledge and skills to deliver the project while ensuring the day-to-day business of caring for patients is not disrupted.’

Building work will start at the beginning of January. The new centre is scheduled to open in summer 2020.

If you need cancer information or support, please contact the Macmillan Cancer Information Service inside the Hamar Centre at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital on 01743 261000, ext: 1957 or Sath.macmillaninformation@nhs.net.

The service is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm. No appointment is needed but it is recommended that you ring ahead if you are making a special trip to visit the centre.

For more information about the counselling and wellbeing services provided at the Hamar Centre please contact the Hamar Centre main reception on 01743 261035. The Centre is open Monday-Friday 9am-5pm.