WORK BEGINS ON £4.6M RENTON UNIT AT HEREFORD COUNTY HOSPITAL
The new unit will replace the acclaimed Charles Renton Unit at the hospital, which is struggling to cope with its growing workload.
Macmillan Cancer Support has linked up with Hereford Hospitals Trust to provide the unit and is contributing £2.65 million towards the cost. Of this, £2.2 million has been raised in Herefordshire and Powys in a two-year Macmillan Renton Appeal campaign supported by the Hereford Times.
Initial preparations have been completed on the site and Speller Metcalfe has now started work. But the project has been delayed through unexpected difficulties experienced in the diversion of a public sewer to make way for the new unit.The hospital trust has had to respond to changes in policy in the management of foul and rain water but, following negotiations with Welsh Water, the unit is expected to be finished by the end of next March.
Mike Coupe, director of business development, said the scheme could now move forward after a frustrating period of unavoidable delay. He added it would achieve two long-standing objectives – to replace outgrown chemotherapy facilities and complete the first phase of the replacement of hutted wards.
To accommodate the new unit, Kenwater Ward will be demolished and additional beds moved within the main hospital. Steve Richards, Regional Director for Macmillan, said they could now begin to see light at the end of the tunnel and plan to treat patients in 2011. “Next year happens to be the centenary for Macmillan Cancer Support and the Macmillan Renton Unit will be a landmark for all that we stand for and evidence of how we provide direct support in the community,” he said.