IOM Today News 4th August 2015
A joint £3.4 million investment by the Manx government and The Manx Breast Cancer Support Group charity in new health facilities at Noble’s Hospital reached a milestone yesterday, with the breast and endoscopy units being made weather tight.
The new Breast Care Unit – an ambition of consultant surgeon Ms Millie Bello – has been possible thanks to a fundraising campaign by the Manx Breast Cancer Support Group (MBCSG) and the generosity of the people of the Isle of Man.
The group’s efforts have raised the £1.5 million required to build and equip the facility.
The unit will be the home for all outpatient breast care in the island, including screening, which will move from the Community Health Centre on Westmoreland Road.
It will be the first time there has been a single, dedicated breast care facility on the island, with care currently delivered across multiple clinic spaces.
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women.
“ Through screening, every woman on the island will at some point in their life use the unit” said Julie Stokes, chair of the MBCGS
As well as advice on signs and symptoms to look for, the Department of Health and Social Care operates a breast screening service for those aged 50 to 70, with the aim of early detection.
About 6,000 breast screenings take place each year in the island, with around 100 women diagnosed with breast cancer.
The outpatient clinic has more than 3,000 outpatient appointments a year.
Built above the Breast Care Unit is a new £1.9 million Endoscopy Unit. Funding for the facility was approved by Tynwald last November.
Endoscopy, which uses miniature cameras to examine the inside of the body, is an increasingly used diagnostic and treatment tool.
More than 3,500 endoscopies are performed each year at Noble’s Hospital. With increasing demand, advances in practice and changes to standards, there has been a growing need for a dedicated and purpose-built facility.
The new unit will see endoscopy facilities completely separated from other clinical areas. In doing so, the new clinic space will enable Noble’s Hospital to meet the latest in best practice, standards and guidance.
The DHSC says the layout and design of the unit will ‘greatly enhance’ privacy and dignity for patients and will free up much needed capacity in the endoscopy service’s current home the busy Day Procedures Suite.
Julie Stokes, chair of the MBCSG, said: ’We’re thrilled to see plans for the unit coming to fruition. When we launched the £1.5 million fundraising campaign in April 2014, who would have thought we’d be completing construction only 15 months later?
‘It’s taken a great deal of work but it will have a lasting impact on the quality of breast care for generations to come. Through screening, every woman on the island will at some point in their life use the unit.
“The project would not have been possible without the support and generosity of so many on our island not least the committee, our patrons, sponsors and donors, with special mention for the Eric and Marion Scott Trust and the Scheinberg family.
‘Delivering a project of this scale and in such a short period of time speaks volumes of our community spirit and people of the Isle of Man.’
Work on the Breast Unit began in October 2014 with work on the Endoscopy Unit starting in December 2014. Both facilities are expected to be operational early in 2016