Meet the staff at north Norfolk's new £4.85m cancer centre

Meet the staff at north Norfolk's new £4.85m cancer centre

Part of the team at the North Norfolk Macmillan centre, from left, Anita Martins, Emma Smerdon, Chris Grayston, Roger Bracey and Wendy Marchant. - Credit: Supplied by Macmillan

As the North Norfolk Macmillan Centre prepares for its official opening, the staff at the new £4.85m cancer care unit have been introducing themselves.

The centre at Cromer and District Hospital has already started taking patients, and officially opens on October 15. It can cater for up to 30 patients a day, saving many long trips to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital.

Anita Martins, who was appointed matron of the hospital 11 years ago, said there was no job description that could summarise the breadth of what she does.

A patient being treated at the new North Norfolk Macmillan Centre

A patient being treated at the new North Norfolk Macmillan Centre at Cromer and District Hospital. - Credit: Supplied by Macmillan

"It’s the close relationship with patients and staff that makes my job meaningful and motivates me to get patients involved wherever possible," she said.

Roger Bracey, from Aylsham, is one of 22 volunteers who have been recruited to welcome and support people who visit the centre.


You may also want to watch:


He began using his free time to help people with cancer after losing his wife Margaret to breast cancer in 2015.

He said: "It's never a pleasant day when you have to go in for treatment, so if someone is there to take the edge off things, it means a lot.

Most Read

“I decided that whether or not Margaret survived, I would return to the unit to volunteer and give something back, and I’ve got such a lot out of it.

"Just knowing that I’ve put a smile on someone’s face during what would otherwise be a gloomy day is all the reward I need for helping others."

The new North Norfolk Macmillan Centre at Cromer and District Hospital. 

The new North Norfolk Macmillan Centre at Cromer and District Hospital. - Credit: Supplied by Macmillan

Chris Grayston, who is responsible for the day-to-day running of the centre, said that even with the pandemic, it was "never an option to put this centre on the backburner".

"If anything the vulnerability of people with cancer made it a more urgent endeavour – and it’s quite an impressive accomplishment that everything stayed on track despite the health crisis.”

Inside the new North Norfolk Macmillan Centre at Cromer and District Hospital. 

Inside the new North Norfolk Macmillan Centre at Cromer and District Hospital. - Credit: Supplied by Macmillan

Emma Smerdon, one of four healthcare professionals running the new acute oncology service, said the centre will save patients "an exhausting journey from Norwich and spare them the stress of unnecessary admission to hospital, which is a special relief they know they don't have much time left".

Wendy Marchant, a nurse at the new Macmillan centre

Wendy Marchant, a nurse at the new Macmillan centre which will treat cancer patients in north Norfolk. - Credit: Supplied by Macmillan

Nurse Wendy Marchant said: "Being from Norfolk and working in cancer services, I've always been aware of the gap in cancer support that exists out here and taking on this role seemed a great way of providing the support that's been missing."





Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter