BREAST cancer services at Edinburgh’s Western General hospital are set for a huge revamp after a massive £1.4 million donation.
Patients will benefit from a new garden terrace, better waiting areas and new ultrasound facilities thanks to the cash from charity Walk the Walk.
It wants to expand the unit to help staff cope with increased workloads and to make women’s experiences less daunting.
Much of the fundraising came via the annual Edinburgh MoonWalk, where participants take to the streets at night in brightly decorated bras.
The investment – which follows a previous £1.5m donation in 2009 – was today welcomed by health chiefs, who said it would improve the service offered to patients. The charity said it would be the “final piece of the jigsaw” for the breast cancer unit.
Nina Barough, founder of Walk the Walk, announced the donation as she unveiled a “pink tree” at the Royal Botanic Garden ahead of this summer’s MoonWalk.
She said: “It really is wonderful to be giving a further grant in order to renovate the mammography unit.
“This will be the final piece of the jigsaw in creating a comfortable and healing environment to enable the people having their scans the best possible experience. For the Royal Botanic Garden to create a pink tree in honour of the day makes the celebration even more special.”
The increase in the unit’s workload is down to several factors, including better screening and detection of breast cancer.
Dr Elaine Anderson, clinical director of breast services and breast screening for NHS Lothian, said: “We’re going to create a more welcoming reception area and a comfortable waiting room with an adjacent small courtyard garden for patients.
“And with a new ultrasound room and another reporting area also included in the redesign, we will be able to cope with the increasing workload.
“This is all possible because of the generosity of the thousands of women and men who take part in The Moonwalk every year. I am thrilled to let them know their efforts are worthwhile and that we can’t thank them enough.”
This year’s MoonWalk will take place on June 9, with the theme of Midnight at the Oasis, and will start from Inverleith Park.
Heather Jackson, director of enterprise at the Botanics, said: “The Edinburgh MoonWalk is one of the Capital’s largest fundraising events and is worthy of all the support it attracts.
“On the night of the walk we will be illuminating the front of the John Hope Gateway visitor centre with pink lights.”
Sign up for the walk at www.walkthewalk.org or call 01483 741430.