|Olympic weightlifter opens Infusion Suite at Ashford Hospital|
|Written by Communications Team|
Team GB Olympic weightlifter Zoe Smith visited Ashford Hospital on Thursday 18th October to officially open the new Infusion Suite. The unit is now open to patients and will provide a service to anyone requiring an infusion, where drugs are given over several hours via a drip.
18 year old Zoe is a rising star in women’s weightlifting and was the first Englishwoman to win a Commonwealth Games weightlifting medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India. After taking a tour around the unit and speaking with staff, Zoe cut the opening ribbon and joined guests, including the Mayor of Spelthorne, Deputy Mayor of Spelthorne and councillors from the Hounslow Health Scrutiny Committee, for a celebratory lunch.
At the back from left to right: Cllr Isobel Napper (Deputy Mayor of Spelthorne), Dr Mike Irani, Cllr Robin Sider (Mayor of Spelthorne), Chairman Aileen McLeish, Matron Diane Lashbrook, Infusion Suite Sister Gemma Forde and Zoe Smith at the front cutting the ribbon.
The Infusion Unit was the brainchild of staff at the Trust, particularly Consultant Rheumatologist Dr Mike Irani, who could see the benefit it could offer patients. Dr Irani explains: “It is very exciting to see the new Infusion Suite in use and it is a big step forward for our patients, who can now be treated in a purpose built environment with comfortable reclining chairs. We are also very lucky to be supported by the Ashford Hospital League of Friends, who donated several hand held DVD players to help keep patients entertained.”
Before the unit was built patients received their infusions at St Peter’s Hospital, often in the admissions lounge or in a bed on a ward. This sometimes meant that an overnight stay was necessary as some treatments take up to eight hours to receive, whereas patients can now come into the Infusion Suite first thing in the morning, start their infusion straight away and go home the same day.
Dr Irani adds: “We are providing a range of treatments, including blood and iron transfusions, chemotherapy, Infliximab and Rituximab and will continually look at ways of expanding the service to help our patients. The unit is modern, comfortable and welcoming and also means that beds are kept free at St Peter’s for other patients. It was brilliant to welcome Zoe to Ashford Hospital and she epitomises the spirit of our unit – forward thinking with a fantastic future ahead!”