Plans for a £338k investment to expand and improve a vital cancer support service in South Manchester have been unveiled by Macmillan Cancer Support.
The Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Centre at Wythenshawe Hospital, part of Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT), is about to undergo a major expansion and refurbishment programme to meet growing demand.
Planning permission has been granted and work is due to start on site in November, with the project expected to be completed by Spring 2018.
Construction company Schofield and Sons Ltd, based in Eccles, has won the contract to carry out the works, which will extend the centre by a third. The much-needed expansion, which is being funded by Macmillan, will enable the Macmillan staff and volunteers to provide even more practical, emotional and financial support and information to people affected by cancer.
The award-winning service, which launched in 2008 and assisted around 1,000 people in its first year, is being expanded to meet increased usage year-on-year, with more than 28,500 people reached in 2015-16, including around 4,000 with more complex needs.
The new-look centre will provide a much larger activity space and an additional therapy/meeting room, where the Macmillan team will be able to offer even more counselling, complementary therapies, cancer survivorship programmes and benefits and financial advice sessions.
Debbie Smith, Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Centre Manager at Wythenshawe Hospital, said: “Since we launched the information and support centre almost ten years ago, we have been overwhelmed by the demand for our services, which has exceeded all our expectations. Our resources and space are now stretched to the limit, so we are delighted with the expansion of the centre, which will enable us to continue providing a quality service to people when they need it most.
“This investment is a fantastic opportunity to expand the centre and, more importantly, help us enhance the service we provide to meet the needs, not just physical and clinical, but also financial, emotional and psychological, of even more people affected by cancer in South Manchester.”
The centre will be open as usual while the building work is taking place, although some of its services may be temporarily relocated to other sites within the hospital.
Mandy Bailey, site Chief Executive of Wythenshawe, Withington, Altrincham and Trafford, said: “Patient care is our number one priority and support services such as the Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Centre at Wythenshawe Hospital are vital to enhance the treatment we can provide to cancer patients and their families.
“These improvements to our existing centre mean we will be able to offer even more care and support to people affected by cancer at what is a particularly difficult and distressing time.”