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A new Cancer Centre is being built and families can contribute to the design and content of the new building. To find out more Laurence Hibbert, a member of the Oncology Parents Advisory Council (OPAC) at our hospital, attended a meeting recently. He shares his thoughts below:
"Some of the consumers from our OPAC committee recently took part in the second meeting the the Project User Group for the new building which will rehome the Cancer Centre for Children. The group brings together clincians, nurses and the project design team to discuss the intial design concepts. This meeting focussed on the proposed new Outpatients clinic. Some consumers suggested that a flexible open plan waiting area was important, particularly with access to a hot drinks area without having to leave the waiting area. Others suggested a range of different furniture including pod style enclosures and age appropriate areas for younger and older patients.
I feel our families need to have appropriate facilities to cope with all of their different needs from patients in wheelchairs to a family bringing several siblings of a patient.
Few people understand the real stresses that our families go through and the real benefit that well thought out facilities will bring. An example is Liverpool's Alder Hey hospital where the children's oncology unit has its own in-house catering which provides meals to patients when appropriate for them. Young sick patients often find typical hospital food unappealing so the possibility of a chef working with the parents to provide interesting meals at the right time to the patient is a really creative solution.
Over the coming weeks, a range of ways in which our families can contribute to the design of the new building will be announced. Please look out for these messages and remember that all ideas are welcome.
For example, the one thing I did not expect to see on a visit to the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne was the meercat garden in the outpatients area! The person suggesting it might have thought it was just a dream but their design team accepted it."
Download, or read, the fact sheet to find out more about the planned building works.
We need your help to create our new building and invite you to have your say. What works? What doesn't? What is really important to you and your family? Visit our Building the new Cancer Centre page and tell us.