Spire Hartswood Hospital in Brentwood is the first private hospital in the UK to receive the Macmillan Quality Environment Mark (MQEM) for both oncology and breast care services.
Its oncology nurses, who are from Brentwood, Billericay and Grays have been offering cancer services to the local community for a number of years and were honoured to receive the award from the charity, Macmillan Cancer Support.
The MQEM aims to set the highest possible standards for cancer care environments, driving forward the design and use of facilities, based on a robust understanding of the needs of people affected by cancer. The Hospital was marked against criteria which included five core principles of quality in cancer care including accessibility, privacy and dignity, comfort and well-being, choice and control and support for patients and relatives.
Local resident and Oncology Nurse, Jackie Low of Brentwood, has worked at the Hospital for over 20 years and commented: “The charity is so well known and respected for its work with cancer patients that we are honoured to receive the accreditation from them. As a local hospital we support patients in our community, whether they are someone’s neighbour, friend or relative and it is hugely satisfying to receive this stamp of approval for the service we offer them.”
The award was given after an inspection by Quality Adviser for Macmillan Cancer Environments, Val Noble, who said: “This award is not given lightly, as it is dependent upon meeting standards of excellence in the physical environment in cancer care. These standards were developed by Macmillan Cancer Support after extensive consultation with people affected by cancer. Spire Hartswood is the first private hospital in Essex to receive the award for its oncology service and is the first private hospital in the UK to receive the award for both oncology and breast cancer care.”
Local resident and Breast Cancer Nurse Specialist, Alex Edghill, works alongside the oncology nurse team to support patients with breast cancer and was involved in the application for the accreditation “The effect that cancer has on a person’s life continues long after the cancer is removed. Ongoing personal support is absolutely crucial and at the heart of everything we do.”
Dr Emma Staples, one of the consultant clinical oncologists at Spire Hartswood, announced the award during an interview on local radio station, Phoenix fm. Dr Staples, who specialises in breast cancer, said "The whole team at Spire are fantastic; everone involved with the care of my patients is extremely professional, caring and patient centred. It's a wonderful department to be part of."
The Hospital held its annual Macmillan fundraising event on Friday 30 September which saw patients, visitors and staff all taking part to raise money for the charity. The Spire Hartswood’s Worlds Biggest Coffee Morning included a cake sale and raffle, guess the baby picture, guess the weight of the cake and cake taste competition and raised £569 for the charity.