NHS patient Linda Noon has had cancer treatment at a private hospital – after her surgery was moved there to free up beds during the coronavirus pandemic.
The 71-year-old has become the first patient to go under the knife as part of the special link-up between the Royal Stoke University Hospital and the nearby North Staffordshire Nuffield Hospital.
It is part of moves to create spare capacity at the Royal Stoke ahead of an expected spike in Covid-19 cases and ensure coronavirus-free patients do not miss out on vital treatments.
The Nuffield care is being provided by nursing, medical, pharmacy and support staff from the Royal Stoke.
The operation was carried out just weeks after Linda, from Fegg Hayes, was diagnosed with breast cancer following a mammogram. The segmentectomy has hopefully removed the affected part of her breast.
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She said: “Everyone who cared for me was absolutely lovely, from the nurses to the kitchen staff.
“I didn’t feel nervous about going to the Nuffield, it was very clean and everyone was wearing personal protective equipment.
“It has all been a bit of a roller-coaster ride for me because my diagnosis and treatment have all happened very quickly. I cannot fault the care.
“I’m still waiting for my results to come back and am really just looking forward to feeling better and getting back to doing the things I love.”
All patients from ward 201 within the Royal Stoke’s cancer centre are being treated at the Nuffield. The cancer centre emergency assessment unit has also been relocated.
Bladder cancer procedures are being carried out at Rowley Hall Hospital, in Stafford.
Deputy chief operating officer Beryl Woodall said: “We want to ensure we continue to give the best care to patients in the most appropriate setting and our clinical teams have been working with staff from the Nuffield to prioritise patients who are eligible for treatment there.
“We would like to thank all of the teams involved for their support with this joint venture, which really demonstrates the value of collaborative working in these challenging times.”