The contract has finally been signed for the building of a new £2.5 million Pevensey Unit at Eastbourne DGH, after years of fundraising.
The Friends of Eastbourne Hospital spent years collecting £500,000 towards the new unit, which has since suffered a string of delays and false-starts.
We will soon be able to treat our patients in a modern spacious environment better designed for modern day cancer care.
However, building work is now expected to start on the long awaited unit in late March.
The unit will be used for oncology and treatment of cancer patients.
The Friends of Eastbourne Hospital’s chairman Peter Nash, said, “I am very pleased contracts have now been signed and building work will start very soon. This project has been a long time coming but very soon we will have a superb new unit for local cancer patients.
“There is no denying that progress to this point has been frustrating and I would like to thank everyone for their patience. Most importantly, I want to thank everyone who has donated to this project including the Tuesday O’Hara Fund and Chris Lambird Fund.”
The Tuesday O’Hara Fund was set up by parents Sue and Frank, who lost their daughter to leukaemia.
The Chris Lambird Fund was similarly set up in memory of Chris Lambird, a popular sportsman and businessman who died of cancer.
Although plans were in the pipeline to build the unit last year, in October, the Trust said there was a “substantial difference” between the actual cost of the building and the money set aside by the trust to pay for it.
The construction of the building was halted, but now it looks set to go ahead.
The East Sussex NHS Healthcare Trust said the new oncology suite with an expanded day unit will offer new treatment facilities providing a high quality patient experience.
A new in-patients suite will include eleven side rooms with en-suite facilities offering patients greater privacy and dignity.
One of these a room will be a dedicated adolescent room fitted out by the Tuesday O’Hara Fund.
Two new spacious light and airy three bedded bays will provide more space for patients and staff. The new unit will encompass the existing footprint of Pevensey Ward and the footprint of Wilmington Ward, therefore doubling it in size.
Overall, the new unit has more bedrooms with en-suite facilities, more treatment areas, more space and more toilets facilities.
Darren Grayson Chief Executive of the Trust, said, “It is great news to finally be able to sign the contract for building work to start. The development of a new Pevensey Unit has been a priority for the Trust and although it has taken more time than we wanted the expanded new unit will offer a superb environment for the treatment of patients. It marks part of our continued investment into Eastbourne DGH.
“I would like to thank The Friends of Eastbourne Hospital for their support in this project and their forbearance in getting to this point.”
Dr Richard Grace Consultant Haematologist said, “This is great news for our patients. The new unit will be much larger than our previous unit and offer our patients a much improved overall experience. Most importantly, we will be able to provide our patients increased privacy and dignity with 11 en-suite single rooms compared to our current 5 single rooms.”
Dr Joel Newman, Consultant Haematologist said, “With contracts now signed the team on Pevensey Unit are really excited that building work will start very soon on our new unit. We will soon be able to treat our patients in a modern spacious environment better designed for modern day cancer care.”