Below are some of the milestones the Rosemere Cancer Foundation is proud to have helped our clinical teams achieve over the last 20 years.
Brighter skies ahead for our radiotherapy patients
As well as the big things, such as groundbreaking cancer research projects, or expensive, top-of-the range pieces of clinical equipment like the surgical robot we funded a few years ago, Rosemere also fund smaller things - things that simply make our patients that little bit more calm and comfortable at a potentially very stressful time.
One of these, that we know many of our patients appreciate, are the virtual sky ceiling panels in our radiotherapy rooms here at the Cancer Centre at Royal Preston Hospital.
We have recently spent £3,200 on fitting the new panels in our LA2 treatment room, so our patients can watch wispy white clouds floating across sunny blue skies as they undergo their treatment. They help create a calming, relaxed, and positive atmosphere - something that definitely makes a difference for the 300 patients, from across the whole of Lancashire and the South Lakes, that are looked after in our radiotherapy centre each day.
Now seven of our eight radiotherapy rooms have these panels installed, and we're hoping to be able to purchase our final virtual sky soon! Thank you so much to our supporters for making this possible.
Ribblesdale Ward Refurbishment is underway
Refurbishment works on the Ribblesdale Ward at Royal Preston Hospital, the only oncology-specific inpatient ward across Lancashire and South Cumbria, are now underway.
Thanks to our fantastic Rosemere supporters, we raised an incredible £1,000,000 towards this life-changing project as part of our successful 20th Anniversary Appeal a few years ago, although there was a slight delay with getting started due to the sheer scale of the work and the planning involved, and of course the onset of the pandemic last year. While the renovations are ongoing, normal Ribblesdale services will be delivered from another ward, without any disruption to patient treatment or care.
To read more, click here
Fylde patients benefit as new triage unit gets up-and-running
A new unit helping care for cancer patients at Blackpool Victoria Hospital is receiving praise after opening during the pandemic to already treat almost 300 patients, 80 per cent of which would have otherwise ended up attending the hospital’s Emergency Department.
The new Acute Oncology Triage Unit, within the Oncology and Haematology Unit, is a dedicated facility for supporting local patients who are going through – or have already been through – treatment for cancer.
To read more, click here.
Rosemere has helped fund the set-up a three-year project into lung cancer research
We are excited to have agreed to fund a three-year project enabling more local research into the better diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer.
Rosemere have spent £32,590.18 on freezer units and other equipment needed to set up a Cardiothoracic and Biofluid Research Bank, which will be housed within the cellular pathology department at the Royal Preston Hospital but will serve the whole of Lancashire and South Cumbria.
Rosemere helps to fund study into immunotherapy treatment for kidney cancer
Rosemere are delighted to be funding imaging scans for local kidney cancer patients, to help consultants determine which patients will benefit from a new immunotherapy drug.
We awarded £33,254.25 to consultant oncologist Dr Natalie Charnley, who is based here at Rosemere Cancer Centre at the Royal Preston Hospital - Lancashire and South Cumbria’s specialist regional cancer treatment and radiotherapy centre. Dr Charnley is leading on a study investigating patient response to nivolumab, an immunotherapy medicine. Click here to read more.
Clinical trial a 'godsend' for Blackpool great-grandad
Earlier in the year, we announced that local cancer patients would be among the first to access some of the newest cancer treatments in the world, thanks to charitable funding.
Rosemere gave the National Institute for Health Research - Lancashire Clinical Research Facility (LCRF) over £80,000 to fund a Specialist Experimental Medicines Cancer Research Nurse for the next two years, to deliver early phase experimental medicine research trials. The trials will be based at Royal Preston Hospital, for patients from across Lancashire and the South Lakes who are failing to respond to their treatment.
Now, we are delighted to tell you about a Blackpool patient, Geoff Eastens, who is benefiting from the trials! To read more, please click here
JUNE 2020 - Charity funded imaging system spares patients surgery
A GP from Kirkby Lonsdale who was diagnosed with an aggressive form of endometrial cancer (a type of womb cancer) is happy to be spared additional surgery during her treatment due to a new technique funded by Rosemere Cancer Foundation - the first of its type in the North West.
Five weeks ago, Dr Shehzana Fraser (pictured), who worked alongside husband Dr Iain Fraser for Morecambe’s Bay Medical Group until 2018, underwent a hysterectomy at the cancer centre as part of her treatment. Her surgery, which was performed by consultant gynaecological oncologist Mr Georgios Angelopoulos, was keyhole surgery that also involved the use of a Pinpoint High Definition Fluorescent Imaging System.
The system was bought for the centre at a cost of £110,000 by Rosemere's charitable funds. To read more, please click here.
JUNE 2020 - Much-used clinic room goes from clutter to calm thanks to charitable donations.
A consultation and examination room on Ward 11 of the Royal Preston Hospital that is used daily by consultants and clinical nurse specialists seeing patients with bowel and other gastrointestinal problems has undergone a £3,667 make-over, funded by Rosemere Cancer Foundation.
Old shelving and mismatched furniture that cramped and cluttered the room has been replaced with fitted store cupboards and a comfortable seating area with a couch to now make it calmer and more functional.
MAY 2020 - Rosemere funds 'Game Changer' womb cancer research
A “game changer” blood test, capable of detecting womb cancer even at its pre-cancerous stage, is to go into clinical trial at Rosemere Cancer Centre thanks to charitable funding.
Consultants have been involved in a Rosemere Cancer Foundation sponsored study that has helped to establish the test as an advancement in improving the diagnosis and prognosis of the disease, the incidence of which is rising in the UK through its links to increasing obesity and an aging population.
Chemotherapy Alert Cards
One of the smaller projects we’ve funded recently is the printing of Chemotherapy Alert Cards - a double sided, credit card sized card given to all patients commencing chemotherapy treatment at the Rosemere Cancer Centre.
These cards are intended to be given to medical staff if the patient becomes ill, particularly if they're unable to explain their condition.
Lead chemotherapy acute oncology cancer nurse specialist Jo Wilkinson explains: “Chemotherapy suppresses the immune system so an infection can quickly take an overwhelming hold.
“Patients carry the cards with them all the time. If they do become ill, the cards alert any health professionals treating them to the fact they are undergoing chemotherapy. They then know to look for the signs and symptoms of neutropenic sepsis. This can be a life-threatening condition in cancer patients that occurs because their immune system is weakened by their chemotherapy treatment.”
Although the cards only cost £80 for a year's supply to be printed, they have the potential to save lives!
FEBRUARY 2020 - Rosemere Funds £283k Pelvic Radiation Disease Project
We are delighted to have recently funded a three-year pilot project costing £283,521, that involves setting up a brand new service to help former cancer patients left with debilitating long-term side-effects following radical, intensive radiotherapy treatment to the pelvic area.
Cancer patients on the Fylde Coast now have a fabulous oncology and haematology outpatients department to attend following funding of £13,000 by Rosemere which was used to modernise the existing dated facility. Working in partnership with Blackpool Victoria’s in house charity Blue Skies who also contributed £13,000 towards the project, the unit was redecorated, re-floored and had modern comfortable furniture introduced. The refurbishment has created a modern facility providing a relaxing and comfortable environment to improve patient experience and boost the morale of staff working there.
Rosemere has bought an ice making and dispensing machine costing £2,358 for patients on the Ribblesdale Ward through an act of good karma that came about by chance! The money for the machine was donated to Rosemere by Valerie Bennett, of Whitworth. The machine was already on order and Rosemere was planning to fund it, however, Valerie stepped in when she saw a posts on an individual’s fundraising site about the need for ice by patients on the ward.
To read more please click here
Cancer patients who suffer recurrent tumours may now be spared the ordeal of repeat surgeries thanks to an investment of £40,000 by Rosemere to help the Plastic Surgery Department at the Royal Preston Hospital to buy an Electrochemotherapy machine (ECT machine). ECT is a new, innovative therapy for harder to treat patients – patients whose cancer deposits keep coming back – and the machine’s arrival in Preston means the hospital is one of only a handful of centres in the UK able to offer this new procedure.
Cancer patients undergoing treatment at the Primrose Unit – Burnley General Teaching Hospital’s chemotherapy unit – now have the option of state-of-the-art “Cold Cap” therapy following the arrival of two new, top of the range Paxman Cooling Systems bought by Rosemere. The machines work to help prevent hair loss, which can be a side-effect of some chemotherapy medicines. Together with a pack of eight new caps for a similar machine already in the chemotherapy unit at the Royal Blackburn Hospital, they cost £28,579.
Rosemere launched a campaign on the Fylde Coast to fund the creation of an Assessment Unit on the Oncology/Haematology Day Case Unit at Blackpool Victoria Hospital. It will provide fast access to specialist treatment from experienced oncology staff for patients experiencing complications throughout the duration of their treatment, saving them from potential delays in a busy A&E department. The unit will also provide day case procedures and treatments that previously might have meant a stay in hospital, making it less stressful and more convenient for patients. It is hoped that building work will commence in the autumn.
The Rosemere Cancer Foundation committed £30,000 to local cancer research at Blackpool to enable Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Dr Bittar, to investigate potential biomarkers for earlier diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer. A further £63,208 is pump priming two additional research nurses for two years to facilitate the expansion of cancer clinical trials at Blackpool to give local patients earlier access to the very latest treatment regimes.
Total Cost £93,208
On the back of approval for a larger NHS project at Royal Preston Hospital in January, the opportunity has arisen to undertake a more radical remodelling of the Ribblesdale Ward at the Rosemere Cancer Centre than was originally thought possible. The decision was therefore taken to expand the Rosemere 20th Anniversary Appeal to raise an additional £842,000 and it is hoped that work will begin on this exciting project in spring 2019 to provide a state of the art cancer ward for the people of Lancashire and South Cumbria.
A Rosemere fundraising appeal to raised £112,000 towards the cost of a new Chemotherapy Unit at Burnley General Hospital. Rosemere funding was used to provide a sensory therapy room, a more comfortable and pleasant waiting area and decorative screens in the main treatment room to provide greater privacy.
The opening of the NIHR Lancashire Clinical Research Facility at Royal Preston Hospital. The facility is a collaboration between Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust and Lancaster University and plays an important role in discovering new treatments and improving care for the future. Rosemere invested funds raised by the 20th Anniversary Appeal to provide on- site pathology and pharmacy facilities and initial funding for a dedicated clinical trials co-ordinator to help expand cancer clinical trials and make them more accessible across the region.
Provision of chemotherapy facilities at Chorley Hospital with the opening of a new Chemotherapy Unit on the Winstanley Ward. Funded with the help of a donation of £31,000 from Rosemere fundraising group, the Witches of Adlington.
The Da Vinci Xi, the most advanced robotic surgical equipment in the world, arrives at the regional Cancer Centre at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals. The first of its generation to be installed in the North of England, this innovative kit was funded by the Rosemere 20th Anniversary Appeal and has since been used to treat patients with urological, gynaecological, colo-rectal and upper gastrointestinal cancers less invasively, with less pain, less risk of infection and faster recovery times. It has also allowed the performance of procedures never before undertaken in the UK.
Cost: Contribution of £1.25m towards total cost of £1.6m
Rosemere Cancer Foundation provides 2 years’ start-up funding to help establish a service to assist patients to return to work after cancer treatment. The service, run by Lancashire County Council, is available to patients and their employers to help overcome the physical, emotional, legal and financial barriers that can prevent people returning to the workplace.
Introduction of an innovative 3D printer for the more accurate creation of prostheses for head and neck cancer patients in East Lancashire to provide a more acceptable and comfortable patient experience. A second printer has since been purchased for the Rosemere Cancer Centre.
Installation of the latest generation of Endobronchial Ultrasound equipment (EBUS) at the Rosemere Cancer Centre. This is the first equipment of its kind anywhere in the world and will help with the early diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer.
Introduction of liver function testing equipment at the specialist liver cancer unit at Blackburn Royal Infirmary. Available nowhere else in the UK outside London, this equipment will help make life saving surgery a possibility for patients for whom it was previously considered too great a risk.
Purchase of Ultrasound Machines for the insertion of PICC lines at Kendal, Lancaster, Blackburn and Burnley, saving patients the journey to the Rosemere Cancer Centre at Preston if their line could not be inserted locally by touch.
Building of a dedicated Cancer Information Centre at Royal Preston Hospital where patients and their families can access information on all aspects of living with cancer and be guided by Macmillan funded support staff.
Provision of Scope Guides for the Bowel Cancer Screening Service in Preston, Blackburn, Lancaster and Barrow to make the procedure more comfortable for those known to be at particular risk. It is hoped that this will also reduce the number of people who do not return for further screenings and thereby save lives. This equipment was purchased with funds donated by the Furness Building Society.
Purchase of an additional ultrasound machine to facilitate the introduction of a same day diagnosis service in the new Breast Care Unit at Chorley. This initiative was made possible by a donation from the Witches of Adlington fundraising group.
Refurbishment of wards at Westmorland General Hospital to accommodate a new local chemotherapy service in a bright, uplifting and comfortable environment. This project brought cancer treatment closer to home for patients throughout the Central Lakeland area who had previously had to travel long distances to Barrow or Lancaster.
Opening of Duncan House following the refurbishment of premises adjacent to Blackpool Victoria Hospital to provide accommodation for the families of leukaemia patients spending long periods as an in-patient in the region's specialist haematology unit.
Introduction of Image Guided Radiotherapy facilities at the Rosemere Cancer Centre to allow greater accuracy of treatment, particularly for prostate, gynaecology and head and neck cancers. This equipment was purchased as a result of Rosemere's Ray of Hope Appeal and IGRT has since become standard on all new radiotherapy machines.
Support for research at Lancaster University in conjunction with urology and gynaecology staff at Royal Preston Hospital to investigate the use of spectroscopy (a high density light source) as a tool for better diagnosis and treatment of prostate and gynaecological cancers. This work has been ongoing since 2005, resulting to date in 110 original papers and 75 conference abstracts which have informed specialists in the oncology arena across the UK and beyond, making the team world leaders in this area of research.
Cost: £90,000 over 10 years
Installation of a Coffee Shop in the Radiotherapy Department at the Rosemere Cancer Centre. This facility provides free drinks to all patients and sells a range of snacks to patients, carers, staff and volunteers. It is run entirely by volunteers and is very much valued by patients, particularly those travelling a long way for treatment. It routinely comes top in patient satisfaction surveys and returns approximately £8,000 in profit to the Foundation each year.