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Staff standing at the entrance of the haematology and oncology unit

The Haematology and Oncology Day Unit (HODU) at Airedale Hospital has recently undergone a £175K refurbishment funded entirely by Airedale Hospital & Community Charity, thanks to generous donations.

Support has been received from members of the local community, including a donation from The Friends of Airedale, a charity that also supports the hospital.

HODU provides care for a large number of patients with a variety of haematology and oncology conditions, many of whom visit the unit on a regular basis.

The unit has seen huge changes including an additional treatment room, upgraded technology in all areas, and 12 pressure-relieving treatment chairs which ensure maximum comfort for patients receiving chemotherapy. The unit has non-slip vinyl flooring, as well as new wall graphics and images in all areas. The rooms have all been decorated with a calm and bright feel to create the best possible environment for those having treatment.

Patients were key in deciding what the new unit would look like; they have shared their thoughts about colour schemes, style of furniture and have chosen wall murals for each of the treatment rooms.

The new unit has been open to patients since October and was officially opened at a celebration event on Friday 4 November organised by Airedale Hospital & Community Charity. Donors and their families, staff and executives from the Trust, and other members of the local community were invited to attend. Cricketer George Hill, who was born at Airedale Hospital, cut the ribbon at the event.

George Hill, Cricketer for Yorkshire County Cricket Club, said:

“It’s a real privilege to be here. I was born at Airedale nearly 22 years ago and I know how important the hospital is for the local community.

“On behalf of all the lads from Yorkshire County Cricket Club, I want to say a massive thank you to the NHS and Airedale staff for the work they’ve done over the years and continue to do.”

James Bush, who fundraised for the unit, said:

“We recently raised money for HODU in memory of my father. Father was coming to HODU on and off for five years and spent a lot of hours on the unit.

“We lost father in COVID and couldn’t have funeral so we waited until the end of the pandemic to put a memorial event on so his friends, colleagues, and everyone he knew could come and celebrate him.

“Our initial idea was to raise money for chairs or equipment that would make a patient’s stay on HODU more comfortable. The aim was to raise £10,000, then, after speaking to the charity team, we were told that refurb would cost £175,000 so our new target was 10% of that.

“We received lots of support and ended up raising £30,000 which is an incredible amount, but this is testament to my father and the draw that he had. It’s great for us to be here to see this money being put to good use.”

Nicola Denbow, Matron at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“The patients who come to HODU are those who have cancer and come here for chemotherapy, or patients who have blood clotting disorders and need regular treatment.

“We wanted to make sure our environment was as welcoming as possible. What you see in HODU is solely the choice of our patients and their families – and I think they’ve made a really good choice. They chose colours, furniture, images on the walls, they tested furniture and gave us feedback.

“This refurbishment wouldn’t have been possible without fundraisers, the teams from Davric and the AGH Solutions who did the work, the HODU team, and the supporters of Airedale Hospital. We’re really proud to have been able to do this work.”

Airedale Hospital & Community Charity is the official NHS charity for Airedale NHS Foundation Trust. The charity accepts donations and actively fundraises on behalf of the Trust and uses funds to improve experiences for patients, their families, and staff.

The work was done by Davric Construction with help from AGH Solutions, the Estates Department at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust. Davric also provided a donation to fund refreshments at the opening event.