The Stars Appeal funded Breast Unit has been highly commended in the Patients’ Choice category of the Building Better Healthcare Awards.
The national awards celebrate innovation in the design and build of NHS facilities, as well as suppliers of products and services to healthcare.
Vicky Brown, Consultant Breast Surgeon said: “Thanks to the people who generously supported the Stars Appeal’s Breast Unit Campaign, our breast care patients now receive all their care and treatment in one dedicated unit. Our ArtCare and Estates teams here worked closely with patients and staff to co-design and create a comfortable and calming environment where patients and their families can come to terms with their diagnosis and get the care and treatment that they need in their own ‘private space’ in the most sensitive and caring of environments.”
The breast unit provides the best possible facilities for patients with dedicated diagnostic, treatment and counselling rooms, enabling quicker care and treatment. Diagnosis and follow up can now all be provided in one place, with less need for patients to visit other departments in the hospital.
The design of the breast unit focused on the natural world with scenes from nature surrounding the waiting area to help reduce anxiety and create a welcoming space. The central room is more ‘spa-like’ than hospital, helping people feel comfortable to wait in dressing gowns while maintaining privacy and dignity. Wherever possible, focal points are integrated into the building. This includes ceiling tiles, printed wall cladding, bespoke window film and signage, so that art, design and clinical function are seamless.
Patients described how spending time in natural surroundings was both soothing and reassuring and the team chose images of the sea, rivers, fields and forests to decorate different rooms in order to reflect the outside world.
While the unit caters for men and woman, there is one room that focuses completely on female patients. The Rose Room - where breast prosthesis are fitted following mastectomy - is feminine and intimate, where expert staff can put women at ease, talk about how treatment has altered their bodies and provide personalised care that gives women the support that they need.
Anna Aertssen, Consultant Breast Surgeon said: “Around 4,500 local breast patients each year now benefit from the unit and we are pleased that the BBH Awards have recognised the innovative design and improvement of the service. We want to thank local people and organisations again for their commitment and generosity. This would not have been possible without their fantastic support.”