BY TOBY PORTER firstname.lastname@example.org
An MP has officially opened a blood unit after being the first patient to be treated there – and he is now cancer free.
Conservative MP Nick Boles cut the ribbon at the new haematology unit at King’s College Hospital after being the very first patient to be treated in it.
The MP for Grantham and Stamford, who lives in Camberwell, received a bone marrow transplant for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma last year and has since been given the all-clear.
The new facility, called the Leukaemia UK Ambulatory Care Unit, treats a range of malignant haematological conditions including bone marrow cancer (myeloma), cancer of the lymph nodes and leukaemia.
The unit carries out bone marrow transplants and chemotherapy for outpatients so they can stay in their homes or a hotel close by rather than being stuck on a ward.
Mr Boles said: “I am delighted to be opening King’s College Hospital’s Ambulatory Care Unit.
“Being offered the chance to be the unit’s first patient made a huge difference to my quality of life during my stem cell transplant, allowing me to live at home and come in each day for tests and treatment.
“It’s a great step forward for patient care at King’s.”
Dr Victoria Potter, consultant haematologist and transplant director at King’s College Hospital, added: “Patients have told us they would rather avoid a hospital admission if possible, which is why we have developed this new unit.
“When it is deemed safe for a patient to receive care as an outpatient they come in for treatment, are closely monitored and then are able to go home later the same day.
“This will enhance the care we provide and will allow us to treat even more patients.
“We are grateful to Leukaemia UK and the Lions International Blood Research Appeal (Libra) for funding the new unit, and we are delighted that Mr Boles has come back to King’s to officially open it after his successful treatment here.”
Angela Smith-Morgan, chief executive of Leukaemia UK, said: “This transformational unit is already making a positive difference to patients affected by blood cancer.
“Leukaemia UK is proud to have helped transform King’s haematology department into a world class centre of excellence since 1977.”
Andrew Lodge, chairman of Libra, attended the opening and said: “It is wonderful to know MP Nick Boles received life-saving treatment here and no doubt many more patients will follow in his footsteps.”
King’s has the largest bone marrow transplant programme in the UK and performs more than 200 transplants a year. It is also an international centre for research into and the treatment of myeloid leukaemias, lymphomas and myeloma.