Edinburgh cancer unit to double its capacity to treat patients

June 2011

An investment of £40k will fund the extension of Edinburgh’s largest private cancer unit. The actual size of the unit at Spire Murrayfield Hospital will double to accommodate increased demand for the services.

The unit will also house a chemotherapy port service, the first of its kind in South East Scotland. Subcutaneous ports are devices placed under the skin for administration of chemotherapy drugs. The ports allow drugs to be administered into a central vein rather than a peripheral vein in the arm. This system avoids general problems such as extravasations (leakage of chemotherapy drugs from veins) and prevents the need for repeated needle punctures.

The extension will house separate waiting and consulting areas, an open treatment area with glass privacy shields. This allows for optional discretion when required whilst retaining the ability for patients to chat when they wish. 

A further boost to the unit is the endorsement from MacMillan Cancer Care of Nurse Consultant, Deborah Scott. Her post has recently been adopted by the charity in recognition of her work. Of the extension, she said, “It’s fantastic that we’re able to treat more patients, an increase in chemotherapy treatment chairs from 4 to 7 means we will be able to treat around 20 extra patients every week. Our BUPA accreditation in breast, gynaecological and bowel cancer treatment pays testament to the service each and every one of these patients will receive.”

Former chemotherapy patient, Susan Ayre said of the service:

"I was diagnosed with cancer shortly after my 53rd birthday. My husband took me to see the consultant, Mr Martin and it was not long before he informed me had cancer of the peritoneum or ovaries. He told me I would have 3 chemotherapy sessions every 3 weeks up at the chemotherapy unit at Spire Murrayfield Hospital. He explained that following chemotherapy he would operate and give me a total hysterectomy and remove my peritoneum.

"My first chemo was scary as you are frightened of the unknown. My nurses were lovely and always talked me through when was happening. They were also available on a 24 hour helpline when something was wrong. I continued to go up to the unit for two more chemotherapy sessions. We would have coffee and all my family would come and chat. We laughed a lot.

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