September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Kingston Hospital’s paediatric department has one of the busiest children’s oncology shared care units in the South East of England, with 55 to 65 children on active cancer treatment each month, in addition to those receiving long-term clinic follow-up. Patients are typically referred from the Royal Marsden, Great Ormond Street or UCLH for shared care as a preferred provider, based on the department’s track record. In line with national data, the most frequent diagnosis is acute leukaemia.

Extending the hospital’s Royal Eye Unit, at ground floor level, provides a unique opportunity to develop a self-contained day care oncology suite at first floor level, linked to the rest of the paediatric service. This would replace the current, shared arrangements which invariably negatively impacts on the day care provided to children with cancer.

Creating this new unit would achieve a significant number of benefits including: a clear separation of children with cancer with vulnerable immunity to infection from other acutely ill children; a dedicated space exclusively for children who make frequent visits for treatment, minimising disruption to the family, while maintaining the child at home and at school, as much as possible; a calm environment for the administration of programmed chemotherapy; reducing congestion in other parts of the paediatric unit; and improving efficiency by separating children with cancer from other acutely ill children.

This new unit would also enable more intensive chemotherapy administration (infusional chemotherapy) to be potentially provided in the future, which requires children to stay for several hours under close monitoring.

Please click here to hear from Consultant Paediatrician, Dr Jo Morris, on the case for developing this new paediatric day care oncology unit or follow this link if you would like to make a donation  https://www.khc.org.uk/support-us/donate/