A MOBILE chemotherapy unit is bringing vital treatment much closer for cancer patients.

The £250,000 unit visits Tadley Community Centre in Newchurch Road every Friday between 10am and 3pm. It is owned by cancer support charity Hope for Tomorrow and operated by Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT). The travelling unit, which also visits sites including Andover, Alton and Eastleigh can give up to 3,000 treatments every year and can reduce the distance patients have to travel, which in turn reduces costs and stress levels.

Only patients under the care of Basingstoke and Winchester hospitals, who meet strict criteria, are offered chemotherapy treatment at the mobile centre.

News of the unit visiting Tadley was welcomed by RadCan, a local charity fundraising for facilities offering cancer treatments in North Hampshire.

Viv Street, chairman of RadCan said: “Having to travel long distances to get treatment can be exhausting and expensive for patients at what is already a very vulnerable time for them.”

Dr Lara Alloway, HHFT clinical director for cancer services, said the unit is in a specially-designed vehicle and staffed by chemotherapy nurses. She added: “We hope this will reduce the burden of the cancer treatment on patients and their families, by reducing the travelling time needed to reach either of our existing chemotherapy units.”