Body coach and fitness author Joe Wicks joined staff this week at Kingston Hospital to open a new cancer unit for children.
He was accompanied on Tuesday by retired consultant paediatrician Dr Andrew Winrow at the opening of the unit, which is run by Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in Surrey.
“I can’t wait to deliver the improved experience we can give to children and families under our care”
The unit, part funded by Kingston Hospital Charity, is named after Dr Winrow, a respected paediatrician and academic researcher, who used to work at the hospital.
The facility gives a new home to what was described by the trust as one of the busiest children’s cancer shared-care units in the South East of England.
It will treat up to 65 children each month, in addition to the children and young people who regularly visit for long-term follow-up care.
Under the shared care model, Kingston shares their care with specialist teams at The Royal Marsden Hospital, Great Ormond Street Hospital and University College London Hospital.
The new paediatric oncology unit at Kington will offer a calm and dedicated space for children exclusively with cancer, according to the trust.
It will also allow patients who have low immunity to infection to receive their chemotherapy or have blood tests away from other acutely ill children.
The trust noted that, until now, this type of treatment was given in the children’s general outpatient department.
The new suite includes a private room for outpatient consultations, medical reviews and meetings with parents.
In addition, it will enable cancer specific treatments such as administering intravenous antibiotics to be carried out much more quickly, said the trust.
Ms Wicks is originally from nearby Epsom. His wife Rosie gave birth to two of his three children at Kingston Hospital.
He met outpatients undergoing cancer treatment, aged between three and six years, and their families, to do some fun light exercises and read a story.
Sue Stillwell, clinical nurse specialist and paediatric oncology lead, has had a long wait for the facility. She said: “13 years ago we started looking into funding for a unit to meet our future needs.
“We’re so lucking Kingston Hospital Charity raised funds for this amazing unit. It’s amazing – above and beyond my expectations,” she said.
“We now have a three-bedded bay area, an isolation room and a dedicated cubicle where we can treat the growing number of children needing cancer treatment in South West London.”
She added: “I can’t wait to deliver the improved experience we can give to children and families under our care.”