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Worcestershire to have a Haven centre

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and national breast cancer support charity, The Haven, have announced plans for a Haven centre on the Worcestershire Royal Hospital site later this year.

The new centre will enable people with breast cancer to benefit from free one-to-one emotional support and complementary therapies to help relieve the side-effects of treatment. It will form an integral part of the Breast Unit which is currently being built.

Work on the breast unit was given the green light at the end of last year after the Worcestershire Breast Unit campaign reached the £1.3 million mark towards its £1.8 million fundraising target.

The Worcestershire Haven will be the fifth in the country and the first to be located on a hospital site.

Announcing the partnership with The Haven, Trust Chair, Harry Turner said:  “This is a really important development for us.  With the support of The Haven we will be able to offer patients the highest quality medical and holistic support.”

Pamela Healy OBE, the chief executive of The Haven added “This new partnership marks an important step-change for the charity as it will be the first time in our 15 year history that our integrated breast cancer support service will be available from an NHS site. Having the combination of core clinical breast cancer care services and complementary therapies in the one location is a unique model of care in the UK and has the potential for replication across the country.

Consultant breast surgeon, Steven Thrush said “I have been aware of the valuable work of The Haven for many years and I am delighted that we will be working with them to ensure Worcestershire patients have excellent all-round care.”

Robin Walker MP said "It is very exciting to see the new Breast Unit at Worcester coming closer to opening and I congratulate everybody who has worked so hard to fund and deliver it. Having visited the Haven in Hereford early on in my time as MP to see the vital work that they do supporting breast cancer patients, I am thrilled that that work will now be coming in to Worcestershire and I am delighted that this innovative partnership will be one of the first of its kind in the whole country."

The new breast unit is due to open this autumn.  It will provide treatment for men and women with breast cancer in private and welcoming surroundings including a private garden.  It will reduce the number of locations patients currently have to attend and help relieve stress for patients.

The Haven is a national charity that provides free, one-to-one, emotional support and complementary therapies for people affected by breast cancer. It currently has three centres in London, Hereford and Leeds, with a fourth due to open later this year in Hampshire.

As well as helping people deal with their diagnosis and subsequent treatment, The Haven also offers support to close family members and friends.  Their aim is to offer relief to the side-effects of breast cancer treatment and to help with dealing with the emotional impact of a diagnosis.

The new Haven service is initially being run as a one year pilot so both partners can fully assess its impact.

The Haven will offer services one day a week from the new Breast Unit.  For each patient this can include up to six free therapies, including counselling, acupuncture, and nutritional advice and an initial consultation with a Haven breast care nurse who specialises in complementary support.