TV's Peter Snow Opens New Cancer Ward at Charing Cross

Calming environment for patients with head and new cancers

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Charing Cross Hospital

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Charing Cross Hospital's £2.4million state-of-the-art unit for patients with head and neck cancer has been opened by Peter Snow, veteran newscaster and king of the swingometer.

Peter, himself a former patient of the hospital, opened the new 10 south ward, which will also treat patients needing reconstructive surgery following lower limb injuries or breast cancer.

The spacious unit has been designed to create a calming environment for patients, many of who have to spend long spells in hospital because they require multiple surgeries and significant rehabilitation care.

" Head and neck cancer is one of the most complex cancers to treat because it affects basic human functions such as speaking, eating and breathing,"  said Lesley Powls, head of nursing for the Trust's specialist services clinical programme group.

" We wanted to create an environment that was sympathetic to the fact that these patients have gone through a very challenging, and often disfiguring and debilitating experience that involves lengthy rehabilitation in hospital."

Head and neck cancer is an umbrella term that refers to tumours in several sites such as the voice box, tongue, jaw and skull base. Many of these tumours are often associated with smoking. Treatment can include the surgical removal of the voice box or tongue.

Peter said: " This ward is a huge triumph for the Trust. I am sure it will make a huge difference to patients to recover in such a calm, relaxing environment. This facility is a tribute to everyone involved in its creation. "

The new 23-bed ward has six single en suite rooms and four bays. Patient care will be provided by a multidisciplinary team of ear, nose and throat surgeons, plastic and breast surgeons, speech and language therapists, physiotherapists and clinical nurse specialists.

Celebrated artist Lisa Milroy has given a group of flower-themed paintings to 10 south on indefinite loan. The artist was invited by Imperial College Healthcare Charity Art Collection to enhance the design of the ward.

July 17, 2009