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Cancer Unit returns to St Bernard’s Hospital

Eyleen Gomez

The GHA’s Cancer Unit today returned to St Bernard’s Hospital after spending the last few months at the Cancer Relief Centre.

The Unit was moved out of the Hospital at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic as cancer patients were identified as being a particularly vulnerable group.

Unlike in the UK, where many cancer treatments were interrupted or even suspended, the GHA said it was determined to provide support to all local patients and to continue the various treatments.

The Unit was also keen to support patients who were receiving treatment in Spain and in London.

“We are pleased to confirm that none of our cancer patients or of our Chemotherapy Team members have contracted Covid-19,” the Government said in a statement.

“Since 23 March, the unit has been providing cancer consultations and delivering chemotherapy and immunotherapy at the Cancer Relief Centre and so the GHA is extremely grateful for all the help, support and facilities provided by the Centre and its staff.”

Despite all the disruption to patients, their families and staff, the unit has received only positive feedback.

“The patients were delighted to be treated in such a welcoming environment and they have enjoyed the Centre’s excellent facilities.”

“Clearly, the move to and from South Barrack Road required a great deal of extra work on the part of the Cancer Relief Centre team, the district nurses, the pharmacy, GHA transport, the IT department and the staff of the Cancer Unit itself. A special mention must be made of Mr Juan Roman, the Cancer chemotherapy charge nurse, who coordinated the moves and, at all times, tried to minimise any disruption to patients.”

The Minister for Health, Samantha Sacramento, thanked Cancer Relief, and her predecessor Paul Balban, for their work during this period.

“I would like to thank my predecessor Paul Balban for this initiative,” Ms Sacramento said.

“We are delighted to have the Cancer Unit back at the hospital but we are very grateful to the Trustees and staff of the Gibraltar Society for Cancer Relief for all their help and support over the past few months.”