Health leaders have hailed the success of an outreach clinic for High Peak cancer patients which is saving them lengthy trips to hospital in Manchester.
Since launching two years ago at The Arden House Medical Centre in New Mills, the outreach clinic has provided more than 500 appointments for chemotherapy and other treatments.
It is operated by regional cancer specialists The Christie Hospital and serves patients registered at all GP practices in the surrounding area.
Patient Gemma Ellis, from Chapel-en-le-Frith, who has regular treatments at the clinic, said: “It can be a three-hour round trip to The Christie Hospital in Manchester if the traffic is bad.
"Having some of my regular treatments at a local clinic takes away so much of the stress and tiredness and means I can be at the school gate to hug my children at the end of the day.”
The cancer clinic was created thanks to funding from NHS England and NHS Improvement, and formed part of a wider project which provided extra consulting rooms and a new waiting area at Arden House Medical Practice.
This enabled the GP practice to expand its staff team and offer more appointment slots and extra support sessions for its patients with long-term conditions such as diabetes.
Trish Thompson, Director of Primary Care and Public Health Commissioning for NHS England in the Midlands, said: “We are delighted that this investment has improved the experience of care for people with cancer as well as assisting the Arden House Medical Practice to increase its support for people with long-term conditions.
“The NHS Long Term Plan has made significant investment for services in primary care and, by investing in GP practices, we are enabling them to offer more local services which help people stay well.
"This is good for patients to have improved access to services and also reduces pressure on our hospitals.”
Vicki Burns, outreach manager for The Christie Hospital, added: “We are very grateful for the support of NHS England and the GPs at Arden House Medical Centre in helping to develop this local centre and enable patients to be treated by The Christie closer to their homes.
“We know that patients in North Derbyshire really appreciate this service and the way it saves them time, money and reduces their anxiety.”