Mayor opens new community treatment unit at St Albans City Hospital

PUBLISHED: 13:00 12 December 2018

The Mayor of St Albans Rosemary Farmer cutting the ribbon on the Community Treatment Centre. Picture: NHS.

The Mayor of St Albans Rosemary Farmer cutting the ribbon on the Community Treatment Centre. Picture: NHS.

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A new healthcare facility has been opened at St Albans City Hospital by the district mayor Rosemary Farmer.

The Mayor of St Albans Rosemary Farmer (in the gold chain) with the chair of St Albans & Harpenden Patient Group John Wigley (furthest left) and some of the Community Treatment Centre staff. Picture: NHS.The Mayor of St Albans Rosemary Farmer (in the gold chain) with the chair of St Albans & Harpenden Patient Group John Wigley (furthest left) and some of the Community Treatment Centre staff. Picture: NHS.

The Community Treatment Unit (CTU) replaces the Rapid Assessment Unit (RAU) and was officially opened on Tuesday, December 11.

In her address at the opening, Cllr Farmer said: “I am absolutely delighted to be here.

“It’s really good news for the city, particularly as it’s bringing more health services closer to home.”

Patients who will now be treated at St Albans City Hospital previously had to travel as far as Mount Vernon Hospital in Rickmansworth for treatment.

The Mayor of St Albans Rosemary Farmer (left) with nursing team manager Rebecca Cantor at the Community Treatment Centre. Picture: NHS.The Mayor of St Albans Rosemary Farmer (left) with nursing team manager Rebecca Cantor at the Community Treatment Centre. Picture: NHS.

“It’s a bit of a trek to Mount Vernon,” the mayor said. “And a bit of a stressful trek, so this is better for staff and patients and that’s what we want.”

The mayor also made reference to Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust (HCT), which will run the CTU, moving services into the same building as the offices of St Albans district council.

“It’s really good there is going to be that crossover [between the district council and HCT].

“We are all, in our different ways, going to be serving our communities.

“John Wigley [chair of St Albans & Harpenden Patient Group] is here today and I know HCT value your input.

“Thank you to each and every one of you who works here who make such a difference to people’s lives.”

She was given a tour around the facility, as was John Wigley, who said: “We are always trying to make sure patients get the very best treatment at St Albans City Hospital.

“I am really pleased to be here, because what was the RAU has been completely transformed and changed.

“Everything is new, there is marvellous equipment, everything is spotlessly clean.

“It’s now going to be the Community Treatment Unit at St Albans City Hospital and it’s an incredible benefit to the patients.

“I recommend to any patient to use this unit with complete confidence in getting a really very good service.”

The CTU helps patients who have been referred from haematology, oncology and renal departments.

Patients are provided with include intravenous therapies, blood transfusions, central venous access device maintenance plus chemotherapy disconnection, catheter care and wound care.

One of these patients is Joyce Coleman, 78 from St Albans, who previously attended the RAU after being diagnosed with anemia four years ago.

She said: “The RAU was old, tired and a bit claustrophobic.

“The nurses were lovely, but in summer it got very hot and in winter very cold – we were even given blankets to keep warm.”

Of the CTU, Joyce said: “The views are lovely – it’s so nice and warm too.

“The first time I went there, I did not like it. It was too big. But after a day of sitting there and the nurses were doing their jobs, it felt nice because I could look out the window all over St Albans and get a lovely, lovely view of the Abbey and I just felt so comfortable there.

“When I receive my treatment I feel so relaxed I even fall asleep sometimes, returning home rested.”

HCT invested £40,000 in the refurbishment of the unit to make it fit for purpose.

The CTU has double the capacity of the RAU, with 11 treatment spaces, including two private clinic rooms and six patient bays.

HCT director of operations Marion Dunstone said at the official opening: “We needed to improve the environment for patients and staff as the RAU was very draughty and there were a lot of problems with layout.

“Changes in the hospital building made it so we could reconfigure.

“There is a high level of expertise in an excellent environment that allows us to provide this care.”

Cutting the ribbon, Cllr Farmer said: “It gives me enormous pleasure to declare this unit open.”

The CTU is an outpatient’s day service and is open from Monday to Friday between the hours of 8.30am and 4.30pm.

To hear more from Joyce, go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnMSpYktINg&feature=em-share_video_user

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