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New mobile cancer care unit launched

29 September 2022

The new mobile unit - a large lorry/ campervan cross-type vehicle with windows and Hope for Tomorrow on the side

A brand new, £300,000 mobile cancer care unit has hit the road following a successful trial by James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The unit, which has been given the name Jewel, will allow patients across Great Yarmouth and Waveney to receive cancer treatment closer to their homes, removing the need to travel long distances to hospital. Jewel has been provided by charity Hope for Tomorrow, which builds and provides mobile cancer care units to NHS trusts, and has been funded entirely through a generous donation from global biopharmaceutical company Bristol Myers Squibb.

The Trust has been trialling a mobile cancer care unit for just over a year. Rather than patients having to drive to the hospital in Gorleston-on-Sea, the unit parks up in Morrisons and Tesco supermarket car parks in Beccles, Bradwell, Caister and Pakefield. This allows it to provide cancer treatment directly in local communities, saving patients time and money on treatment, which often lasts for several months and sometimes years. Inside, the units are just like hospital treatment rooms, with four treatment chairs, chemotherapy pump stands, and a medical grade fridge. They are equipped with air conditioning and a cooling and heating system for patient comfort, as well as a toilet and kitchen.

The inside of the vehicle as described in the text.

Among the patients currently receiving treatment on the unit is Jackie Sullivan, 75, from Bradwell.

At a launch event held at the hospital on 29 September, Jackie officially opened the new unit. She said, “The unit is brilliant. It’s so convenient - there is no need to travel all the way to the hospital, as the mobile clinic visits the car park at my local supermarket just a short drive from my home.

“It’s really comfortable inside and really peaceful and relaxing, which is just what you want when you are having treatment, and the staff are so friendly. We are really lucky to have this type of facility available to cancer patients in our local community.”

Up to 20 patients can be treated on a unit every day.

Maureen and Jackie stand either side of the steps to the entrance of the vehicle Jackie cuts the ribbon to the entrance to the unit to mark the official opening

Maureen and Jackie


Maureen Seaman, aged 79, from Worlingham, also attend the launch event. She has received treatment on board the unit, during its visits to the Morrisons supermarket in Beccles - saving her a 30-mile round trip to the hospital.

“It’s so convenient - just five to 10 minutes down the road. It’s very cosy and comfy on board and I always get a warm welcome from the staff, who are fantastic,” she said.

Between April 21 and March 22 James Paget provided 689 treatments for 186 patients and in the first three months of this year they have already provided 416 treatments to 103 patients. This successful trial led to the trust taking delivery of Jewel, which it will use to provide cancer care directly in local communities for at least the next three years. The vehicles generally have a lifespan of 10 years before they are replaced.

Jo Segasby and Tina Seymour sit inside the vehicle Staff who work on the unit stand outside the side entrance doors to the vehicle

James Paget University Hospital Chief Executive Joanne Segasby said: “We are delighted to be working with Hope for Tomorrow on this excellent initiative, which really enhances the service we offer our patients. The Mobile Cancer Care Unit has made such a difference to patients over the last year and their feedback about the service has been overwhelmingly positive. So it is great news that we now have a brand new unit to continue taking cancer treatment to our communities. It means that patients don’t have to travel to the hospital but can receive treatment closer to home from our team in a relaxing environment - and, in addition, it helps free-up capacity for other patients at the Sandra Chapman Centre, our cancer treatment department on the hospital site.”

Tina Seymour, chief executive of Hope for Tomorrow, said: “We have been working closely with the NHS trusts in Norfolk to enable them to provide cancer care closer to their patients and are delighted that we have been able to help James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation bring cancer care closer to its communities. At a stressful time in their lives, patients and their families really value the combination of the great service they receive from NHS staff and the convenience provided by our mobile treatment units. With spiralling living costs and a backlog in cancer care, this unit will make a big difference to cancer patients in the area.”

Scott Cooke, General Manager of UK and Ireland at Bristol Myers Squibb, added, “We’re really proud to have supported Hope for Tomorrow and James Paget by providing them with this funding. We recognise how vital the mobile units are in delivering cancer treatment to areas that need it most. BMS remains dedicated to supporting the NHS in its COVID-19 recovery, and this mobile care unit will make a real difference to thousands of people’s lives.”

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust also has a mobile cancer care unit, which provides treatment in Attleborough, Beccles, Dereham and Fakenham. The introduction of Jewel by James Paget means that the Norfolk and Suffolk populations now have access to the largest number of mobile cancer care treatment locations in the country.

The new vehicle was named Jewel, by Bristol Myers Squibb staff, in recognition of researcher Jewel Plumber Cobb PhD, who advanced the understanding of skin cancer and spearheaded the advancement of women and minorities in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

It costs £212 a day to keep Jewel on the road – for more information or to donate online, visit

About Hope for Tomorrow
Cancer treatment can be emotional, time consuming and often needs to take place over long periods. Consequently, it can also have an impact on patients’ independence too. Hope for Tomorrow is a charity dedicated to reducing the stress of cancer care by bringing it closer to patients. It builds and provides mobile cancer care units to NHS trusts. The treatment units drive out to patients’ communities rather than patients having to make long and sometimes stressful journeys to hospital for their cancer care.

Each fully equipped mobile cancer care unit houses four treatment chairs allowing NHS cancer care nurses to treat up to 20 patients a day. The average time a patient saves for each appointment is 2.5 hours, which significantly reduces the impact on their working lives and their families. It also makes them less dependent on others for transport.

Hope for Tomorrow currently provides 14 mobile cancer care units and 13 nurse support vehicles to 11 NHS trusts. In the financial year 2020-21 the units allowed the NHS to deliver over 26,447 treatments in local communities.

A photograph of the inside of the vehicle - including a pattern skylight roof