Plans for £1.4m cancer unit for under-24s in Leicester

A new integrated cancer treatment unit for people aged up to 24 is being planned for Leicester.

Charities need to raise at least £1.4m to revamp the existing children's unit at the Leicester Royal Infirmary (LRI).

Currently teenagers and young adults have specialist cancer treatment in the hospital's adult wards.

If the money can be raised, work on the new facilities could begin in summer 2012.

Paediatric oncologist Dr Emma Ross said: "There is evidence that psychologically and socially, these patients benefit from these units, from being amongst other patients of their age, from being able to have access to staff who specialise in this area, and the fact that their friends and families can be part of their hospital visit and stay."

Dedicated facilities

Jack Mitchell, a teenage cancer patient at LRI, added: "People won't be on their own, they'll be with someone more or less their age so they won't be with someone who's twice their age or twice as young as them, so it won't be as hard for them to get on with [them]."

Young patients will have medical and play facilities, including games, television and internet access under the plans.

A Teenage Cancer Trust youth support co-ordinator will be able to support teenagers and young adults and organisers hope dedicated outpatient and day care facilities will minimise the need for adult services.

Leicester Hospitals Charity will be generating the funding for the children's section, with the Teenage Cancer Trust handling funds for patients aged between 13 and 24.

The Robbie Anderson Cancer Trust is also supporting the campaign.

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