A chance for quiet time for cancer patients on Hartlepool ward

The opening of the new room in memory of Andy Brown.
The opening of the new room in memory of Andy Brown.

A room where chemotherapy patients can enjoy some quiet time has been set up in memory of a devoted father who lost his battle with cancer last year.

A senior official has described the new room at the University Hospital of Hartlepool as “a great facility”.

Treatment rooms can get very hectic and crowded and on tough days when patients need somewhere to escape to, even if it’s just for a few minutes, the room will provide a quiet place for them to sit, have a cup of tea, and relax

Michelle Holmes

It has been set up in memory of Andy Brown, an avid supporter of Music v Cancer and who supported the numerous music events the charity organises.

The 51-year-old technology consultant from Hartlepool, left behind daughter Kate and partner Natalie when he passed away in July last year after a battle with bowel cancer.

But his memory will live on thanks to MvC founder and good friend Tony Larkin who has named the room in his memory.

Pam Hauxwell, former nurse on the chemotherapy ward who helped treat Andy when he was ill, said: “He was a lovely man. I hope this room can help more people in Andy’s honour.”

Tony was also diagnosed with bowel cancer and started the organisation after his all clear in 2010.

He said: “The refurbishment took three months to complete and cost just over £8,000, all of which came directly from the Music v Cancer gig in October 2016, which was held in memory of Andy.”

Rosie Livingston, Deputy Unit Matron on the Chemotherapy Ward at the hospital said: “Things like this are important because more and more young people and their parents are coming into the ward and my hope is that this room can offer them the space for respite and privacy that they need.”

Steve Hall, Non-Executive Director of the Trust Board for the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation, said: “Everyone that uses this room will be able to remember him as well, they’ll know him from the picture on the wall, and for that we thank Tony.

“Also, thanks to Rosie and her team on the chemotherapy ward in particular, we have a fantastic set of caring, passionate professionals and now we also have a great place that patients can use to make their experience here at the hospital even better.”

Michelle Holmes, Chemotherapy Unit Matron said: “The new family room is fantastic as it provides patients on the ward with a place they can go for a bit of time out.

“Treatment rooms can get very hectic and crowded and on tough days when patients need somewhere to escape to, even if it’s just for a few minutes, the room will provide a quiet place for them to sit, have a cup of tea, and relax.”

Margaret Brown, mother of Andy said: “Andy used to always say how amazing the staff were here on the ward. He had nothing but praise for Rosie and her team and would come home from the hospital uplifted.”