The Body Coach, online fitness sensation and author, Joe Wicks MBE, joined staff and patients, alongside retired consultant paediatrician, Dr Andrew Winrow, to open Kingston Hospital’s new children’s cancer unit, giving a new home to one of the busiest children’s cancer shared care units in the South East of England, which 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.
The Body Coach, Joe Wicks, originally from Epsom, whose wife Rosie gave birth to two of his three children at Kingston Hospital, spent time meeting some of the hospital’s young patients during his visit and reading a story to some of the families who will benefit from the new facilities.
The new paediatric oncology unit offers a calm and dedicated space for children exclusively with cancer and will allow patients who have low immunity to infection to receive their chemotherapy or have blood tests away from other acutely ill children. Previously, this treatment was given in the children’s general outpatient department. The suite also includes a private room for outpatient consultations, medical reviews and meetings with parents, and will enable cancer specific treatments such as administering intravenous antibiotics to be carried out much more quickly.
The unit, part-funded by Kingston Hospital Charity, is named after the much-respected paediatrician and academic researcher, Dr Andrew Winrow, who led the project.
Dr Joanna Morris, Consultant Paediatrician and Lead for Paediatric Shared Care Oncology at Kingston Hospital says: “The Paediatric Oncology Shared Care Unit team and wider paediatric team are eternally grateful to all who have contributed to make this new build happen and we look forward to the improved experience we can give to children and families under our care.
“The building will not only enable our service to meet the growing number of children requiring cancer treatment in South West London, but will allow us to deliver better training for medical and nursing staff and have a greater ability to take part in future research.”
Kingston Hospital shares the care of these children with specialist teams at The Royal Marsden Hospital, Great Ormond Street Hospital and UCLH under the shared care model, allowing children to receive their cancer treatment as close to home as possible.
Over the last 10 years the Kingston Hospital Paediatric Oncology Shared Care Unit (POSCU) team has treated nearly 300 children with cancer and looks forward to continuing to provide high quality care to these children and families.