The Fortuneswell Chemotherapy Unit was originally opened in 1994, mainly treating patients with blood disorders. Patients with other cancers such as breast, bowel and lung cancer were at that time treated at Poole Hospital in the Cancer Centre. It was recognised that there was a need for patients to be treated in their local hospital. The cancer services have developed over 10 years to provide chemotherapy treatment at Dorset County Hospital.
The unit is supported by two haematologists who care for patients with blood disorders. They are based within the unit seeing patients both in clinic and on the inpatient wards. The oncologists, who specialise in treating patients with ‘solid cancers’ such as breast, bowel and lung etc, are based at Poole Cancer Centre, holding clinics at Dorchester.
The nurses working within the Chemotherapy Unit have a specific interest in the care of patients living with cancer. All have completed educational programmes to enhance clinical practice with regards to this and chemotherapy adminstration. Education of staff on all aspects of patient care is of high priority to ensure safe, competent practice.
The Chemotherapy Unit has two charities supporting the ever-changing needs. The workload is ever increasing and therefore there is demand to update facilities and renew equipment. Many patients choose to donate to the unit in order that others can benefit. This is either done through the hospital or the Fortuneswell Cancer Trust who also organise fund raising events on the unit’s behalf.