Young patients are now celebrating the end of their cancer treatment at Whipps Cross University Hospital by ringing an ‘end of treatment’ bell.
Installed in Acorn Ward, the hospital’s paediatric unit, the bell improves the experience of younger patients by creating a celebratory atmosphere following a difficult time.
Kristy Mckeon, Paediatric Haematology and Oncology Specialist Nurse at Whipps Cross Hospital, said: ‘The end of cancer treatment when people get to go home is a happy occasion and we wanted our younger patients to do something to mark it. We decided to install the bell on the ward so that patients can ring it and have a psychological boost as they leave hospital.’
Adam Guffar, a patient from Leyton who rang the bell following starting treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia over three years ago, said: “I had no idea that staff on the ward had planned for me to ring the bell so it was a great surprise when they asked me to. Ringing it felt like an accomplishment, a small act that gave me a huge feeling that I had achieved something.
“My treatment at the hospital couldn’t have been better and staff were more than just friendly, they were like family and I always felt safe in their care.”
A poem beside the bell reads:
‘Ring this bell
Three times well
Its toll to clearly say
My treatment’s done
This course is run
And I am on my way!’
The bell, donated by End of Treatment bells, is a small but poignant symbol to give young people a boost as something to look forward to when facing the difficulties of cancer treatment which may include chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery.
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NOTES TO EDITORS
Barts Health NHS Trust
With a turnover of £1.4 billion and a workforce of around 16,000, Barts Health is the largest NHS trust in the country, and one of Britain’s leading healthcare providers. The Trust’s five hospitals – St Bartholomew’s Hospital in the City, including the Barts Heart Centre, The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, Newham University Hospital in Plaistow, Whipps Cross University Hospital in Leytonstone and Mile End – deliver high quality compassionate care to the 2.5 million people of East London and beyond.