Major chemotherapy boost for Burnley General Hospital

Burnley General has received new equipment for its Primrose unit
Burnley General has received new equipment for its Primrose unit

Cancer patients undergoing treatment at Burnley General Teaching Hospital’s Primrose chemotherapy unit now have the option of state-of-the-art 'Cold Cap' therapy.

Rosemere Cancer Foundation and Simonstone-based engineering company Fort Vale has funded the purchase of two top of the range Paxman Cooling Systems which help to prevent hair loss, a side-effect of some chemotherapy medicines.

Together with a pack of eight new caps for a similar machine already in the chemotherapy unit at the Royal Blackburn Hospital, they cost £28,579.

Sister Angela Holden, who manages the new Primrose Unit, said: “We know first-hand how important ‘Cold Cap’ therapy is to some patients. Keeping their hair can help them feel more like their normal self. We’re very grateful to everyone who has contributed to the appeal.”

Patients who want to help reduce the risk of hair loss as a side-effect of chemotherapy can opt to put on a “Cold Cap” before they have their chemotherapy medicine. They keep it on while having their medicine and for a period immediately afterwards. The cap is attached to the cooling machine, which chills the blood vessels feeding the hair follicles.

Rosemere Cancer Foundation also organised a fund-raising Santa Stroll in Burnley's Thompson Park last November to raise funds, while long term supporters Vicky Stott and Julie Scott organised a music night at Padiham Cricket Club. In addition, a local branch of stock car racing organisation BriSCA donated a £1,000 for the project.

Other money came from ELHT&Me, the official charity of East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust. Among donations made through ELHT&Me were those from the Trust’s Education Department, chemotherapy ward staff and the Burnley Hospital League of Voluntary Workers.

Mr. Edward Fort OBE, founder and chairman of the Fort Vale Foundation, said: “We are delighted to support the Rosemere Foundation with a donation to help purchase this state-of-the art therapy treatment for the Primrose Unit and we hope many cancer patients in our local area will benefit from this.”

Joan Carpenter, chairman of the Burnley Hospital League of Voluntary Workers, and secretary Dorothy Riley, added: “We are delighted that some of the funds we raised for Burnley General Hospital have been used to purchase the cooling systems. We hope they will make a real difference.”

Dan Hill, Rosemere Cancer Foundation’s chief officer, said: “For many cancer patients, losing their hair is a terrible blow at the worst possible time. It’s the most outwardly visible sign of their illness and to some patients, unacceptable. We are therefore delighted to have been able to fund this project and we’re immensely indebted to everyone who got behind us to help.”

For further information on Rosemere's work, including how to make a donation, visit