Published: 15/03/2017 15:00 - Updated: 15/03/2017 15:12

Top national award for Cambusavie Unit

The Macmillan Quality Environment Mark plaque – awarded by the charity for high quality care provided in a comfortable environment
The Macmillan Quality Environment Mark plaque – awarded by the charity for high quality care provided in a comfortable environment

The Cambusavie Unit at Lawson Memorial Hospital, which offers day attendance, palliative and "end of life" care, has been recognised by Macmillan Cancer Support for the high-quality environment it offers to patients.

The unit has been awarded the national Macmillan Quality Environment Mark which recognises and rewards good practice and high standards within the physical environment of a building in which cancer care is provided.

The unit, which takes referrals from across Sutherland, offers a number of services and is used by both cancer and non-cancer patients.

It is staffed by a team of nurses supported by occupational therapists, physiotherapists and social services staff. GPs and visiting consultants provide medical support, and an out-of-hours and minor injuries unit service means advice is always available.

The Macmillan assessors said that while the unit was old and in need of updating, it appeared well cared for and clean, showing staff took a pride in their environment.

Senior charge nurse, Jo Gemmill, said: "We are obviously delighted and very proud to receive this award. Not only does it recognise the good work the team here have been doing for many years, it also gives us the confidence to continue to build on recent developments.

"In the past four months, we have introduced a new social, sitting and dining room space where activities and group interactions take place, and which allow patients to relax and socialise with family and friends away from their treatment area.

"We now have plans to upgrade our palliative care suite so that relatives can stay overnight within a comfortable and more homely environment and improve the in-patient spaces with the introduction of new soft furnishings.

"All our changes are driven by feedback from patients and relatives as well as the staff who work here. Our focus is on continuous improvement and we are dedicated to ensuring that the facility meets the needs and desires of our service users."

Macmillan partnership manager for north Scotland Joanne Adamson, said: "This award reflects the hard work and dedication of everyone involved in making the Cambusavie Unit such a special place.

"Assessors found that staff worked extremely hard to create a welcoming atmosphere and that the staff are committed to providing high quality care in a comfortable environment. We are delighted and they should be congratulated for all their hard work."

The Macmillan Quality Environment Mark has been developed in collaboration with people living with cancer and organisations including the NHS.

It aims to ensure that people affected by cancer are treated and supported in physical environments of uniformly high quality.

The scheme is open to any healthcare providers from the public, voluntary or private sectors that operate cancer care buildings.

Organisations can apply to be assessed for the Macmillan Quality Environment Mark via www.macmillan.org.uk/cancerenvironments.

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