A NEW hospital breast care centre, named after the woman whose fundraising efforts made it possible, has opened to patients - marking the fruition of a "very long held dream" (writes Emily Hall).
The Peggy Wood Breast Care Centre opened at Maidstone Hospital on Monday.
Mrs Wood, a dedicated fundraiser and founder of the Kent Leukaemia and Cancer Equipment Fund, was joined by staff and patients to mark the occasion.
The £3m centre, the most advanced of its kind in this country, was named in Mrs Wood's honour by the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust as a thank-you for her vital fundraising efforts for the unit.
Dr Ali Sever, leader of the new breast screening team at the unit, said: "There isn't another breast screening unit in the country better equipped than the new centre at Maidstone Hospital and that is thanks to Peggy."
The breast care centre includes six consulting rooms, a treatment room, two counselling rooms, three mammography rooms, two ultrasound rooms and a prone biopsy room.
Thanks to the new unit means, patients will now be able to receive every kind of breast treatment under one roof.
And women referred for a mammogram will be able to have their consultation and specialist testing together in the same place on the same day.
Dr Peter Jones, who will lead the centre’s surgical team, said: "This is a great day for the women of Maidstone and enables us to build on what we hope is already a successful unit."
Mrs Wood, whose equipment fund has donated hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of breast cancer equipment at both Maidstone Hospital and Preston Hall over the years, said: "I am honoured that the centre has been named after me. I am so grateful to the local clubs, pubs, schools, and everyone else for their kind donations.
“This is local money supporting local services and everything we have raised over the years for breast screening has paid for, and continues to pay for equipment to improve our local breast screening services."