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Hospital fundraisers bring the sky inside for cancer patients

The experience of patients receiving cancer treatment has been improved thanks to a hospital charity.

Thanks to its supporters UHNM Charity has funded the installation of a number of luminous ‘sky inside ceilings’ at University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM).

The ceilings have been installed in treatment and waiting areas in the radiotherapy department at the Royal Stoke University Hospital’s Cancer Centre which see around 2,000 patients per year.

The ceilings simulate day and night time sky scenes providing natural light, helping to reduce stress and anxiety in patients.

Carolyn O’Donovan, Radiotherapy Service Manager at UHNM said; “We first heard about the ceilings whilst upgrading our major equipment and immediately saw the possible benefits that could be achieved for our patients in terms of improving their environment and aiding them to relax and feel more at ease whilst undergoing their radiotherapy treatment.

“We’ve heard nothing but positive feedback from patients about the new installations and feel any further improvements we make in the department will need to include these sky inside ceilings. We’re very fortunate that UHNM Charity has supported us in all this work making a positive impact in our department.”

As well as natural skies, the ceilings can also feature other scenes including waving tree branches and fish tanks.

Kaba Keita, Radiotherapy Practitioner said: “We treat a lot of patients with head and neck cancers which require the use of certain immobilisation equipment which is uncomfortable and intimidating. Having something to distract them like these ceilings makes it easier to manage using this equipment and relaxes them as much as possible.”

All four treatment rooms containing linear accelerators and both patient waiting areas have had either living or feature ceilings installed.   

Patient Graham Burgess from Talk Pits said: “I think the ceilings are very, very good. They’re therapeutic for one thing, when you’re on the machine it’s nice to see them and it does look like what’s happening outside.” 

Alan Sinclair, Managing Director of Sky Inside UK added: “My journey with the NHS has been a personal one as well as a business opportunity as the NHS saved my life three times. I too have been a cancer sufferer and it’s my mission to put back in as much as I can to improve patient experience and outcomes.

“We’ve been working with the clinical team in the Radiotherapy Department as well as UHNM’s Estates team who have both been exceptional in their vision and forward thinking in their planning and assistance. But most importantly UHNM Charity has supported this cause and innovation and we hope to work with them again in the future.”

If you would like to fundraise for UHNM Charity visit for more information, or call 01782 676444 to speak to one of the UHNM Charity team.

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