Dame Kelly Holmes opens newly-refurbished unit at hospital that treated her mother

Double Olympic Champion Dame Kelly Holmes opened a newly-refurbished unit at the hospital that treated her mother on Friday.

Ms Holmes, whose mother was treated at King’s College Hospital for a form of blood cancer, opened the new unit at King’s College Hospital in Denmark Hill, Camberwell.

The renovation of the Derek Mitchell Unit, a purpose-built chemotherapy and bone marrow transplant unit with 14 beds, was completed last month.

Ms Holmes’ mother, Pam, was treated there when she was diagnosed with myeloma, but died in 2017.

Ms Holmes took a tour of the refurbished unit and was shown a number of enhancements including new wall beds, new wall art, enhanced bedhead panelling and a modernised patient day room with floor to ceiling windows providing patients with a view of Ruskin Park

She said: “Through my own experience of losing my mother to myeloma, I know how important it is that blood cancer patients receive the best possible care during treatment and at the end of life.

“It’s wonderful that the enhanced Derek Mitchell Unit will benefit many patients who are cared for here at King’s College Hospital. 

“Congratulations to the amazing team who have worked so hard to create this fantastic unit.”

Improvements were made in response to patient feedback including the introduction of mood lighting in patients’ rooms and the installation of additional easy access sockets for patients’ phones and devices. 

The improvement works were funded by a £3.5 million donation from King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, £100,000 from LIBRA, the official charity for the Haematology Department at King’s, as well as generous donations from patients and families.

The funds enabled improvements to the young adult room and the end-of-life room, as well as refurbishing a dated patient day room.

Carole Cobain-Patel, head of nursing haematology at King’s, said: “We were delighted to have welcomed Dame Kelly to open our newly-refurbished unit and show her round the improved facilities. 

“Our new wall beds will enable loved ones to stay and provide support, and calming wall art and enhanced bedhead panelling make the rooms less clinical and more comfortable.”

Pictured top: Dame Kelly Holmes with King’s College Hospital staff at the new Derek Mitchell Unit on Friday (Picture: King’s College Hospital)

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