Project information

Mobile Cancer Treatment and Support Unit

Access to cancer treatments and support is a major issue and the source of considerable inequality in Wales. Building on the proven success of the charity’s existing Mobile Cancer Support Unit, the project will provide a second one to serve communities where such difficulties are most pronounced.

June 2012 - March 2013

Charity information: Tenovus Cancer Care

Tenovus Cancer Care logo
  • Need


    Cancer patients face long journeys on regular basis to receive their treatment; often they and their families are unaware of the diverse support available to them. Many patients given surgery develop lymphedema: a condition professionals acknowledge is under-recognised with a lack of support services available. In deprived and rural areas these issues are more pronounced and pressing; resulting in cessation of attendance before completion of treatment and lack of awareness of available support.


    A Mobile Unit designed specifically for the delivery of certain cancer treatments, i.e. chemotherapy, and appropriate for delivering lymphoedema services will alleviate the need to travel long distances. The Unit enable us to deliver holistic cancer support in communities across Wales. The Unit will give people affected by cancer access to all the psychosocial support available, including counselling, benefits, housing and any other required. It will improve equity of access to cancer services.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To provide a purposely designed mobile facility for delivering cancer treatments in the community


    » Priovide and maintain to the highest standards an appropriate mobile space that conforms with the NHS' requirement for the delivery of treatments.
    » Work with the local health boards to decide on the treatments to be provided and the Unit's itinerary; and provide an appropriatly private space.
    » Secure an accessible location for the Unit in every community it visits, taking into account the needs of car and public transport travelling patients
    » Ensure that the Unit is a welcoming, calm and supportive environment for receiving treatment, where botth patient and their carers are supported.

    Success will be demonstrated by the number of patients who receive their treatment on the Unit, their evaluation of the service, and what issues arise from delivering treatments..

    Aim 2

    To make cancer patients aware of the condition lymphoedema and provide support to those affected.


    » Work with all local health boards to ensure an increase in the awareness of the condition among cancer patients and inform them of what they can do.
    » Provide appropriate private spaces for delivering lymphoedema treatment and support in a group and one-to-one setting that comply with NHS standards.
    » Ensure that the Unit is a welcoming, supportive environment for the people receiving treatment, where they can access any support they require.
    » Provide free information about the condition at all times on the Unit; and rwegarding the supoport available to decrease the risk of and deal with it

    Success will be an early awareness among patients of the condition; the taking of action by them to minimise the effects; and equitable access to support and treatment

    Aim 3

    To make available holistic cancer support more accessible, espcially in deprived and rural areas.


    » On the Unit, ensure that information about the support services available and that they can be accessed through the Unit is always displayed.
    » The Unity's staff will be trained to deal with initial enquiries and, where appropriate, refer onto a suitable member of Tenvous cancer support team.
    » Members of the Tenovus cancer support team able to hold meetings on the Unit, in a sound-proofed room, with patients who ask for a consultation.
    » Establish a relationship with established community organsiations in deprived and rural areas to generate greater awareness of the support available.

    Success will be an increase in reqests for specialist support and the establishing of partnerships with existing community organisations, especially in deprived and rural areas.

    Aim 4

    To provide a welcoming and supportive environment for cancer patients to receive their treatment in.


    » Ensure that the interior of the Unit is of a light, relaxing colour; uncluttered and clean; with a pleasant waiting area and comfortable chairs.
    » All Tenovus staff will maintain an empathetic relationship with all patients and their families at all times; always treating them as individuals.
    » A concerted effort will be made to avoid delays in treatment times, so that patients do not have to wait for their treatment.
    » Whenever possible, ensure that parking near the Unit is not a problem.

    Success will be established through independent evaluation of the service, when patient and family will be asked for their opinion of the service and the Unit.

  • Impact


    The project will be monitored and evaluated from the outset: this will demonstrate the success of the project. Long term changes will include: increase in number of patients receiving treatment in the community; decrease in travelling times and expenses; increase in patient and family satisfaction


    Local Health Boards are unwilling or unable to work with the charity. Since 2009 a similar Unit has been serving south East Wales in liaison with Velindre NHS Trust who last year delivered courses of chemotherapy tretament to 1,505 patients. All local health boards have indicated their intention to work with us regarding lymphoedema.
    Patients resist treatment on a Mobile Unit. This has not been experienced with our first Unit: in the last year, 167 lymphoedema patients


    Regular monitoring enables us to provide periodic reports for donors: monthly, quartely, or yearly, as the donor required. We encourage donors to visit the Unit and discuss its progress with its staff and senior management. A copy of all evaluation reports would be provided to donors.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £346,321

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £346,321 Mobile Unit build Design, build, internal fit out and commissioning of Unit.
  • Background


    The Mobile Unit will visit a different location every weekday on a seven week rotation, so that cancer patients can receive their treatment in the community. A high percentage of the locations will be in deprived and rural communities. Research indicates a connection between the two, due for example to lifestyle issues, e.g. poor diet and smoking, and late presentation. There is a lack of services in rural areas resulting in significant inequality; necessiting the need to travel long distances.


    A diagnosis of cancer affect the patients' family and friends. They will be the prime beneficiaries of the Unit. A high precentage will be over 50 year old; male and female; from all strata of society and diverse ethnic origins. Primarily the Unit will visit areas with a high instance of cancer; a high level of deprivation; and areas that do not have easy access to cancer support. The beneficiaries will be people, whatever their actual circumstances, that daily endeavour to live with cancer.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Tenovus has been running one Mobile Unit since February 2009. Our first Mobile Cancer Support Unit has enabled cancer patients to receive their treatment near their home, avoiding the need to travel long distances to a hospital. It provides people affected with cancer with direct access in their community to specialist psychosocial support. It has brought to the general public in the community information about cancer, how to decrease the risk of developing the illness, and a health check.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Richard Pugh, Tenovus Community Development Manager

    Richard, a qualified nurse and experienced community developmment officer, will manage the Unit. He is answerable to the Director of Cancer Support.

    To Be Appointed Patient Liaison Officer

    Responsible for welcoming patients and ensuring they receive the support they require. The post is answerable to the Community Development Manager.