A FORMER care worker from Chester has become the first cancer patient in the UK to receive treatment in a new mobile chemotherapy unit.
Alison Roberts-Jones, 45, from Upton, has breast cancer and received her latest dose of chemotherapy on the revolutionary mobile unit at her local Tesco store in the Sealand Industrial Park.
The new unit, which has the ability to treat about 25 patients each day, has been developed by The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre and aims to revolutionise the way in which cancer patients are treated across Merseyside and Cheshire.
Chester is the first to pilot the new scheme and will be the home of the chemotherapy unit for six months, with a view to rolling this out across the region if it’s successful.
Alison was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2011 and after initial surgery to remove the tumour, doctors at the Countess of Chester Hospital found the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes, liver and spine.
Alison received her first round of chemotherapy in November 2011 but after this was unsuccessful, she is now given the drug in tablet form which is administered by nurses on the mobile chemotherapy unit.
She will also be given an injection to treat the cancer in her spine on board the unit every four weeks.
Alison said: “I was blown away with how well the mobile unit reflected a hospital ward, it looks great. It’s so spacious and what stood out most for me was how bright and clean it is.
“The nurses were also brilliant and put me at ease instantly, they were so efficient and I felt really confident to put my treatment needs in their hands.
“The location of the unit is fantastic too as family and friends can wander off and do some shopping. I’m happy to go on my own now and it’s great that the nurses have time to sit and have a natter while I’m there, having that extra one-to-one time makes a real difference.”
Joanne Upton, chemotherapy nurse at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre and project manager for the mobile unit, said: “It’s fantastic to hear Alison has had such a positive experience and we hope all our patients will be 100% satisfied with the level of care they receive on the mobile chemotherapy unit.
“The unit is something we worked toward for a long time as we want to ensure all of our patients have access to our world-class services at their own convenience.”