The Body Coach, online fitness sensation and author Joe Wicks MBE, joined retired consultant paediatrician Dr Andrew Winrow to open Kingston Hospital’s new children’s cancer unit on Tuesday 23 January, providing a new home to one of the busiest children’s cancer shared-care units in the South-East of England, which typically treats up to 65 children each month, in addition to the children and young people who regularly visit for long-term follow-up care.

Joe Wicks, originally from Epsom, whose wife Rosie gave birth to two of his three children at Kingston Hospital met some of the children undergoing cancer treatment, and their families, to read a story making while making it as interactive as he could.

The new paediatric oncology unit offers a calm and dedicated space for children exclusively with cancer and will allow patients who have low immunity to infection to receive their chemotherapy or have blood tests away from other acutely ill children. Previously this treatment was given in the children’s general outpatient department. The suite includes a private room for outpatient consultations, medical reviews and meetings with parents and will enable cancer specific treatments such as administering intravenous antibiotics to be carried out much more quickly.

The unit, part funded by Kingston Hospital Charity following a successful fundraising campaign, is named after the much-respected paediatrician and academic researcher at the hospital, Dr Andrew Winrow, who led the project before he retired.

Dr Winrow said:

What a unit. It’s exceeded all my expectations and allows the team to streamline care, so the children receive their treatments as quickly as possible. It marks a turning point for children’s cancer care here at Kingston Hospital.”

Dr Joanna Morris, Consultant Paediatrician & Lead for Paediatric Shared Care Oncology at Kingston Hospital explained:

The Paediatric Oncology Shared Care Unit team and wider paediatric team are eternally grateful to all who have contributed to make this new build happen and we look forward to the improved experience we can give to children and families under our care.

“The building will not only enable our service to meet the growing number of children requiring cancer treatment in South-West London, but will allow us to deliver better training for medical and nursing staff and have a greater ability to take part in future research.”

Kingston Hospital shares the care of these children with specialist teams at The Royal Marsden Hospital, Great Ormond Street Hospital and UCLH under the shared care model, allowing children to receive their cancer treatment as close to home as possible. Over the last 10 years the Kingston Hospital Paediatric Oncology Shared Care Unit (POSCU) team has treated nearly 300 children with cancer and looks forward to continuing to provide high quality care to these children and families at the most vulnerable times of their lives.

Joe Wicks gifting his book to patient