Youngsters with cancer will soon have their own dedicated space and service in the North-east.
Located in the new ANCHOR Centre at the Foresterhill site in Aberdeen, the cancer support area for 16-25 year-olds will be the first in the region.
Part of NHS Grampian’s £120 million development of the site, the facility will be for those undergoing and recovering from cancer treatment.
Anna Rist, public involvement officer for NHS Grampian, said a project team has taken inspiration from other health boards across Scotland to create the space.
She said: “To find out more about young people’s care needs, a delegation from The ANCHOR Centre project team visited three Teenage Cancer Trust units.
“Our visit to The Beatson Centre in Glasgow included a focus group with seven inspirational young service users. They were very clear about the importance of having an area just for young people and the role of peer support in making life with cancer more manageable.
“As one of the boys put it, a table to gather round and someone who really gets you is all you need.”
The ANCHOR team visited two further units, one in the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow and another at the Western General in Edinburgh, to look at how smaller spaces have been configured.
One key difference between these facilities and the space planned for The ANCHOR Centre is they are embedded within inpatient wards, where as the ANCHOR services at Foresterhill will be for day and out-patients only. Anna said: “These scoping exercise visits to other hospitals have given us a very helpful starting point.”
The team behind the project will now be talking to young people and their families across the region, as well as liaising with the Teenage Cancer Trust about introducing specialist support well ahead of The ANCHOR Centre opening in 2020.