"We can now offer more than just cancer treatments"

Cancer patients and their loved ones can now start to benefit from more than just medical support and treatment at Colchester Hospital.

The Cancer Wellbeing Centre has been built in a quiet lakeside location close to the main hospital building so people can access its services in a peaceful area of calm away from clinical areas. It will offer services and support in conjunction with The Collingwood Centre – the hospital’s new chemotherapy and haematology unit.

Generous donations to the Cancer Centre Campaign, run by Colchester & Ipswich Hospitals Charity, made building the Cancer Wellbeing Centre possible.

Nick Hulme is Chief Executive of East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Colchester Hospital. He said: “We are so grateful for everyone’s support and the donations, however large or small, people have made to the Cancer Centre Campaign.

“We now have a state-of-the art cancer centre at Colchester Hospital to treat patients in a more modern and calming environment and this outstanding wellbeing centre that will offer the additional support people absolutely need when they are affected by cancer.

“It means we can provide more than just treatment to support patients and their families with everything they are going through – from diagnosis, to treatment and how life changes after cancer too.”

The Cancer Centre Campaign launched in 2014 with the aim of raising £3.25million to build a state-of-the-art cancer centre for patients in north Essex. The Collingwood Centre, which opened in November 2019, has brought chemotherapy, haematology and radiotherapy under one roof at Colchester Hospital.

It will now be complemented by the Cancer Wellbeing Centre which offers specialist information, advice and resources for patients, carers and families with support from other organisations, including:

  • Helen Rollason Cancer Charity
  • Macmillan Cancer Support
  • Breast Cancer Now
  • Look Good Feel Better
  • Frobishers Wigs

Macmillan Programme Manager for ESNEFT Kathryn Ramsey said: “The Cancer Wellbeing Centre has been designed with input and feedback from staff and the project team, but most importantly with people who have had cancer.

“We feel confident it will meet our patients’ needs by providing services in a relaxing and therapeutic environment to enhance and support their quality of life, as well as their loved ones. It has been a pleasure and privilege to work on this project.”

What the Cancer Wellbeing Centre team can do to help

The services provided at the Cancer Wellbeing Centre include:

  • specialist information and advice
  • counselling services
  • complementary therapies
  • physical activity services
  • hair and skincare advice
  • dietary advice
  • practical support
  • benefits advice and signposting
  • a venue for self help and support groups