New look for Macmillan day bed unit

Macmillan senior charge nurse Donna MacKenzie and patient user Christine Wills with celebration cakes marking the official opening of the new day bed unit

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Lorn and Islands Hospital has officially opened its refurbished Macmillan Day Bed Unit thanks to funders and supporters.

The unit refurb with its new reception and waiting room, two consulting rooms, a treatment room and an upgraded space for on-line consultations was funded in the main by Macmillan Cancer charity with part-funding from NHS Highland.

Donations from the community also went towards the £350,000 make-over, including a  £9,000 contribution from a friendly Celtic vs Rangers supporters match in Oban in memory of  life-long Celtic supporter Geordie McGhee who received care from the unit.

Cutting the ribbon to officially open the new-look Macmillan day bed unit at Lorn & Islands Hospital

To help architects and designers come up with the best look, a group of patients who were unit users were invited to get hands-on and have a say.

The unit’s senior charge nurse Donna MacKenzie thanked everyone involved, including those who encouraged her to source funding to secure the refurbishment.

A cherry blossom ceiling as well as colourful airy decor and woodland and seascape light boxes on some of the unit’s walls make it bright and cheery.

Argyll and Bute Health and Social care Partnership’s Assistant Nursing Director Liz Higgins said: ‘The day unit has been a welcome addition to the people of Oban and beyond in terms of care being able to keep their chemo service so close. It has taken away the long journey to Glasgow making the patient experience after being diagnosed with cancer a bit less daunting and exhausting.’

She said the refurbishment had made the unit’s environment even more conducive to positive experiences.

The unit’s clinical lead Dr Maggie Brooks said: ‘You can’t underestimate what beautiful surroundings do for morale but it’s not just the building or the furnishings – it’s the people who make the difference. Donna and her team are an incredible asset not just to the hospital but to the community.’

Christine Wills, who was on the patient users group involved in the refurbishment planning, cut the ribbon to declare the unit reopened.

She also paid tribute to the unit’s staff and their commitment to get the refurbishment done, saying: ‘When I was coming here for chemo I looked forward to it and that was because of the team – you guys are outstanding. It’s not just your professionalism, there’s a wee extra magic something here. There’s something about the way you do what you do.’