New unit at hospital

The McMillan Fund-raising Committee in the new garden area of the Unit at  Rothesay Victoria Hospital. Photo by Richard Bradley.
The McMillan Fund-raising Committee in the new garden area of the Unit at Rothesay Victoria Hospital. Photo by Richard Bradley.

A dedicated palliative care area has been created in Rothesay Victoria Hospital to make a difference for people affected by cancer.

This will provide patients and their family with access to specialist care and accommodation locally.

Macmillan Cancer Support has worked with NHS Highland and the community of Bute to completely refurbish an area of the hospital to provide two palliative care beds in private single rooms for patients and their families. Each room has a fold-down bed to allow relatives to stay close to their loved ones. A new kitchen and lounge area has also been introduced and the garden has been upgraded to provide an outside area for patients and families to enjoy.

Previously there were no specific palliative care beds on the island, which meant patients requiring symptom control or care at end of life were treated in the main hospital acute ward, or transferred to a unit on the mainland. Now patients and their families can be together in a quiet, peaceful and less clinical environment.

The refurbishment was made possible by the local Macmillan fundraising committee who raised over £10,000 to contribute towards the refurbishment. This was matched by funds from the Bute Palliative Care Endowment Fund. In addition to this there have been numerous donations from local businesses, skills and time given voluntarily to build the new fence and work on the garden and patio area.

Macmillan’s head of service for Scotland Janice Preston said: “Macmillan is delighted to be working with NHS Highland to enhance the care and support available to palliative care patients on Bute.

“This refurbishment was made possible by the continuous dedication and support of the local Macmillan fundraising committee and the generosity of local people who raised over £10,000 to contribute to the cost of these refurbishment works.

“We know the newly improved palliative care area will make a big difference to people affected by cancer and their families on Bute, so we’re very grateful that the local support has allowed us to complete this work.”

The Macmillan Fundraising Committee have also raised an additional £11,000 to put towards grants for cancer patients on Bute to help them with the increased costs that cancer can bring. The grants will help people to pay energy bills, clothing and costs for travelling for treatment. People on Bute who are affected by cancer also have the support of a Macmillan Nurse who provides cancer patients with much needed care in hospital and in the community.