Cancer patients in north Derbyshire save 500 trips to hospital thanks to NHS investment in doctors’ surgery

Pictured from left: Gemma Ellis, local patient who uses the service at Arden House Medical Practice, Natalie Hallard, chemotherapy sister with the Christie Hospital and Rachael Preston, contracts manager for NHS England and NHS Improvement.
Pictured from left: Gemma Ellis, local patient who uses the service at Arden House Medical Practice, Natalie Hallard, chemotherapy sister with the Christie Hospital and Rachael Preston, contracts manager for NHS England and NHS Improvement.

Cancer patients in north Derbyshire have benefited from more than 500 local appointments for chemotherapy and other treatments over the past two years, thanks to NHS investment in Derbyshire doctors’ surgery.

Following an investment by NHS England and NHS Improvement, patients can now attend an outreach clinic at a local GP practice, run by regional cancer specialists, The Christie Hospital. The clinic was opened in July 2017 within The Arden House Medical Centre in High Peak, and serves patients registered at all GP practices in the surrounding area.

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Gemma Ellis, one of the clinic's regular patients, said: “It can be a three-hour round trip to The Christie Hospital in Manchester if the traffic is bad. Having some of my regular treatments at a local clinic takes away so much of the stress and tiredness and means I can be at the school gate to hug my children at the end of the day.”

In addition to creating the cancer clinic, the conversion project also provided extra consulting rooms and a new waiting area to be used by patients who are registered at The Arden House Medical Practice. This meant the GP practice could expand its staff team and offer more appointment slots and extra support sessions for its patients with long-term conditions such as diabetes.

Trish Thompson, director of primary care and public health commissioning for NHS England in the Midlands, said: “We are delighted that this investment has improved the experience of care for people with cancer as well as assisting the Arden House Medical Practice to increase its support for people with long-term conditions.

“The NHS Long Term Plan has made significant investment for services in primary care and, by investing in GP practices, we are enabling them to offer more local services which help people stay well. This is good for patients to have improved access to services and also reduces pressure on our hospitals.”

Vicki Burns, outreach manager for The Christie Hospital, added: “We are very grateful for the support of NHS England and the GPs at Arden House Medical Centre in helping to develop this local centre and enable patients to be treated by The Christie closer to their homes.

“We know that patients in north Derbyshire really appreciate this service and the way it saves them time, money and reduces their anxiety.”