Published on Tuesday 30 January 2018
Wirral University Teaching Hospital’s Breast Centre now has a comfortable, quiet room for patients and their families to use thanks to the efforts of a grateful patient.
Stella Duncan, from Parkgate, has been under the care of Wirral Breast Centre at Clatterbridge Hospital since being diagnosed with cancer in May 2016. Although pleased with the care she received, Stella noticed that the centre was missing an informal, relaxing space that patients could retreat to if they needed some space. After chatting to staff on the unit, she found out that they had also discussed the idea and so decided to make their vision a reality.
Working alongside the hospital team to determine what was needed, Stella rose to the challenge securing countless donations including brand new furniture, a coffee machine, artwork, lighting and refreshments from a range of different businesses.
She explained: “Wirral Breast Centre is small but extremely busy and although there was limited space available, I felt that it was important for people in stressful situations to have access to a private, comfortable and non-clinical environment. I am passionate about improving the patient experience and the staff really welcomed my support.
“I’m delighted with the end result and really hope that it makes a difference to people like me, who may be dealing with difficult news or are worried about their situation. Being able to help is one way of me coming to terms with what I’ve been through and I’m looking forward to doing even more.”
As a thank you for the care she received, Stella’s employer, supplied the seating for the quiet room and a whole range of other businesses also generously stepped in to help. Stella’s family and friends have also backed her efforts to support breast care at Wirral University Teaching Hospital. Her children donated the crockery and glassware for the quiet room and at Stella’s request, other loved ones donated towards magazine subscriptions for the Breast Centre in place of gifts for her birthday this year.
Stella’s Consultant, Mr Poonawala said: “Stella is doing a remarkable job, not just for the hospital but also for the wider community. We have wanted a quiet area for reflection on the unit for some time and it is wonderful that Stella has made it happen.
“We get some wonderful feedback from our patients and this can only help to make it even better. We are very grateful to have her support.”
Stella is now a WUTH Charity Volunteer Fundraiser for their Breast Care fund and was behind the sell-out Mistletoe and Wine Evening at Claremont Farm before Christmas, which raised over £2000 for the cause. If you would like to find out more about supporting WUTH Charity’s Breast Care fund, or any other areas of WUTH Charity, please visit wuth.nhs.uk/charity.
Photo caption: Stella Duncan with Consultant, Mr Shabir Poonawala in the new quiet room at Wirral Breast Centre.