In 2007 the Hope for Tomorrow, in partnership with Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, launched the world's first Mobile Chemotherapy Unit. In a unique partnership the Mobile Chemotherapy Unit is owned and maintained by the charity and operated by highly trained NHS staff. These well equipped units allow cancer patients to receive treatment in a restful environment closer to home, saving stressful long distance travel and minimising waiting times.
The Gloucestershire Mobile Chemotherapy Unit visits:-
- The Dilke Hospital, Forest of Dean (Cinderford)
- Cirencester Hospital, Cirencester
- Stroud Hospital, Stroud
- Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire
For more information about Hope for Tomorrow please click here
Can all patients receive treatment on the MCU?
You may be offered the option of travelling to receive your treatment on the MCU.
This is dependent on selected chemotherapy regimens, in order to minimise potential risks.
You will all receive the first treatment in the Oncology Centre and several further treatments throughout your course of chemotherapy.
Hospital transport is not available for treatment on the MCU.
There may be circumstances when the MCU cannot go to the locations on the day. In this situation, you would be contacted by phone and therefore need a contingency plan in place to be able to attend Cheltenham for treatment.
Where will blood tests be done?
If a blood test is required before chemotherapy, this can be done either at your G.P. surgery or the local hospital. In some cases the blood test will be taken in Cheltenham at the consultant clinic appointment. Please ensure you are given a blood test request form from the Oncology Centre.
The blood test will need to be taken 2 days before the chemotherapy so that the results are available in time for the assessment and in order to prepare the drugs in advance. Without the blood results, the chemotherapy cannot be produced and treatment would be cancelled.
If you are receiving treatment at the Dilke on a Wednesday, you need to have a blood test taken on a Monday morning at your local G.P Surgery.
When will patients be assessed?
There are no doctors on the MCU. Therefore you will be assessed beforehand, to make sure you are well enough to receive treatment.
This will either be done at the clinic in the hospital or, in many cases, a specialist chemotherapy nurse or an oncology doctor will contact you by telephone the day before treatment.
You must be available to receive the telephone assessment personally on an accessible telephone number. E.g. land line or mobile number.
If the telephone assessment identifies that you are unwell and the treatment is delayed for a week, there is a possibility you will need to be seen by the doctor at Cheltenham before continuing treatment.
There may be situations where you have to stop having treatment on the MCU due to either how you feel during the treatment or the condition of your veins for cannulation. This will involve discussion with both nursing staff and your consultant.
If circumstances change and you have additional needs which cannot be catered for on the MCU, i.e. Mobility, you may have to attend Cheltenham for treatment.
How will treatment be administered on the MCU?
Treatment will be given in the same way as it is in hospital. The MCU has four comfortable recliner chairs and the nurses will have all of the necessary equipment available.
To ensure the day runs smoothly, you are asked to attend at the allocated appointment time. Due to space and resources, the nurses may ask you to wait in the hospital until they are ready, if necessary.
Hot drinks are available on the MCU. It is recommended you bring refreshments for the visit if desired.
Can relatives stay with the patient on the MCU?
There is limited space available on the MCU so relatives are unable to stay with you during treatment.
There is space for relatives and friends bringing patients for treatment to wait in the hospital close to where the MCU is parked.
Contact the MCU
Chemotherapy Booking Office
Hours : 08.00 - 16.00 hrs (Mon - Fri)
Patient Telephone Enquiries: 0300 422 3366
Please contact the Chemotherapy Booking Office regarding the possibility of having treatment on the MCU. Patients are welcome to travel to the MCU to use its facilities regardless of the area you live.
MCU Driving and Maintenance Co-Ordinator : Delvin Porter
MCU Tel : 07760213124
If you feel unwell on the day of treatment on the MCU, you must ring the chemotherapy Helpline. 0300 422 3444 before attending the MCU.