AS Stratford Hospital draws closer to completion and having just reached its £1 million fund-raising target, Deputy Editor Laura Kearns went to discover what the new building will offer.
STRATFORD is one of the only places in the country seeing the building a new hospital.
And it seems the £22 million building, which will house an eye and cancer unit along with a well-being centre, could literally mean the difference between life and death for some patients.
Shockingly, nearly 30 per cent fewer patients in Stratford choose to have chemotherapy compared to nearby Warwick Hospital. This is due to the travel time it takes Stratford residents to reach the hospital’s Aylesford Unit.
But it is hoped more will opt to use the new cancer unit, which is situated on the building’s top floor. It will consist of 12 treatment couches, two side rooms and even a counselling room. There will also be an emergency room where cancer patients who feel unwell can go.
And to offer support to those affected by cancer there will be a part of the new hospital’s airy atrium dedicated to Macmillan, along with a complementary treatment room.
Project manager Liz Waters said: “It is a big investment and there are very few new hospitals across the country being built.
“Having a hospital in Stratford means patients from surrounding towns and villages will have somewhere closer to home to go for treatment.”
The ground floor will house a well-being hub, which will offer support not only to patients but also to those who care for them. It will also be a much-needed meeting place for local charities and groups.
Mrs Waters said: “The wellbeing centre will be a hub for charities and groups such as Age UK.
“What we found is that there is a lot of support and activities for health and wellbeing in the district, but there is not somewhere people can go for information and to meet other patients and carers.”
Walking up the stairs to the first floor – the lifts have not been installed yet – brings us to the eye unit.
Plans for the hospital have been well thought out and cater to the ageing population of the town.
Rather than moving around the building to different departments, patients start at booking in and follow a route which ends with seeing a doctor or specialist. Waiting rooms along the hallway will also limit the amount of walking patients have to do.
The hospital should be completed sometime this spring, and after building work finishes there will be a six week period where it is deep-cleaned and equipped before opening.
As the £1million fundraising target has now been reached, the money will be used to equip the hospital with comforts such as specialist chemotherapy chairs and iPads.
Director of development Jayne Blacklay said: “Throughout the fundraising appeal, one thing that has been really clear to me is how passionate the people from Stratford and the surrounding villages are in supporting and investing in their local community.
“It is thanks to their dedication, hard work and generosity that we have been able raise this phenomenal amount of money and will be able to make Stratford Hospital a first class health care facility.”