A Haematology Ambulatory Care Service has opened in The Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre in memory of a former patient.
The Stuart McCaffer Haematology Ambulatory Care Service is the first of its kind in the west of Scotland.
Stuart McCaffer was diagnosed with stage four large B-cell lymphoma in September 2020.
After spending long spells in hospital and receiving several rounds of treatment, Stuart sadly passed away on 6th August 2021 aged 57.
After Stuart passed away, Janice and her three sons Greg, Jamie and Ross began fundraising through Ladies Lunches and Golf Days to support the new unit within The Beatson.
Funding has also been supported by former Edrington CEO, Ian Curle, who Stuart knew from working closely in the whisky industry. Ian was also treated for cancer prior to Stuart’s diagnosis and the pair reconnected through their illnesses. Ian’s fundraising was supported by The Scotch Whisky Industry.
Ian and Stuart both initially supported the idea of the Ambulatory Care Service through separate funding.
In just two Ladies Lunches and one Golf Day, the McCaffer family - with support from close friends who helped form the committee - managed to raise the total amount required to develop this service in The Beatson, allowing our charity to award a £255,529 grant to The Beatson to develop this service.
PICTURED: Ian Curle and his wife
This funding was used to purchase two therapy chairs, CADD pumps, batteries, battery chargers, carry packs and reservoir cassettes. The money donated was also used to fund two specialist nursing staff posts who will lead the service.
The service will mean haematology patients who are fit enough and live close to The Beatson will have the chance to return home each day and receive their infusional chemotherapy from the comfort of their own homes by wearing computerised ambulatory delivery device (CADD) pumps.
These pumps are attached to cassettes which contain chemotherapy drugs and slowly infuse the correct dose.
This project will enable haematology outpatients to spend more time at home with their family members and reduce discharge anxiety associated with long hospital stays. It will also help to free up more bed spaces for haematology patients requiring urgent investigation and more intensive care and treatment.
Selected patients then return to the unit’s dedicated ambulatory care area to have their reservoir cassettes replaced. The ambulatory care area will also be used for chemotherapy set up, patient reviews and education, blood checks, blood product support and trouble shooting.
GALLERY: Stuart McCaffer Haematology Ambulatory Care Service
The unit’s ambulatory care team will work in close collaboration with senior nurses on The Beatson’s haematology ward and receive support from a variety of staff teams.
Janice McCaffer officially opened the unit along with her three sons at The Beatson.
Janice said: “Whilst it feels so sad and tragic to see Stuart’s name, it is an honour for us to open the ward.
“Stuart was a wonderful dad and husband and really a very special man. He was giving, caring and humble and loved by everyone who knew him. He never wanted recognition for anything and wanted to help so many privately.
“He will be so proud that we have done this although I am not sure how happy he will be to see his name up on a wall.
“Thank you also to Ian Curle who was unwell in The Beatson around the same time as Stuart. He has also helped significantly with the funding of the unit.
"I’d also like to thank our amazing boys for their support and drive to continue their dad’s legacy the way he deserves. He will be so proud of you all as I am.”
Ian Curle attended the opening of the unit alongside the McCaffer family.
Ian said: “I am delighted to see the new facility which will allow people undergoing treatment to spend less time in hospital.
“This will allow people to continue with normal family life and social activities whilst receiving treatment.”
GALLERY: The Stuart McCaffer Haematology Ambulatory Care Service
Dr Pam McKay, Consultant Haematologist and Honorary Clinical Associate Professor at The Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, said: “We are extremely grateful to Beatson Cancer Charity and the donors for supporting this project which we are very passionate about.
“This service is currently provided in many large cancer centres across the UK and we are very keen to be able to offer this service to appropriate patients at The Beatson.
“This should make a massive difference to the quality of life of these patients who currently spend a large amount of time as an in-patient for treatment and associated complications.
“Allowing them to receive this treatment in the ambulatory care setting will mean that they can return home each day and spend more time with their loved ones – this is likely to have a significant impact on their wellbeing and mental health.”
Martin Cawley, CEO of Beatson Cancer Charity, said: “We are so grateful to the McCaffer family and Ian Curle for their generosity, allowing the ambulatory care service to open in The Beatson.
“This will help so many patients spend more time with their families and increase their quality of life.
“We are delighted to have been able to make this happen for the first time in the west of Scotland and look forward to hearing about its success over the coming months.”