The main day-case chemotherapy unit is located on the 1st floor of Bexley wing at St James’s. We also have a small unit at Wharfedale hospital, which is open on Thursdays. Follow this link for more information about day-case chemotherapy at Wharfedale.
The aim of the Chemotherapy Day Unit is to make your time with us as comfortable and relaxed as possible while receiving your chemotherapy.
Arrival and check-in
We are open Monday to Friday 07.30 to 19.30 and are located on Level 1 in the Bexley Wing at St James’s.
On the day of your treatment please report to reception in the Day Unit at your appointment time. Relatives or friends are welcome to come with you. As space is restricted, please limit this to one or two people. You can bring your own books or magazines or battery operated entertainment devices if you wish, but these must not be audible to other patients. There is currently no wifi access to the internet available.
Please try to wear clothes with short sleeves or with sleeves that can be pushed up. We need to be able to see easily the site where the drip is put in.
You will be asked to have a seat in the waiting area. Magazines and cold drinks are available in reception for your comfort. The receptionist will inform your nurse of your arrival.
Prior to your treatment commencing your blood tests will have been checked by your doctor/pharmacist to ensure they are at the levels required. Occasionally, it also necessary to take more blood samples on the day of treatment. Please don’t be alarmed if this happens, we will explain why at the time. It is quite usual for treatment to proceed after additional blood samples have been taken.
Your chemotherapy will be produced by the Pharmacy department. Wherever possible, this will be done in advance to prevent delays in your treatment. Sometimes this is not possible, so please bear in mind that you made need to wait whilst this occurs. For more information about chemotherapy preparation follow this link.
When your treatment is ready you will be taken through to the treatment area. We will allocate a nurse to you for the day. They will be part of a team providing care for you that day.
If at any time you have any questions/queries, please ask any member of staff. If they cannot answer they will find someone that can.
Most patients prefer to have their treatment sat in comfortable reclining chairs, but for those that prefer or need one, beds are available. Please inform your nurse of any specific requirements you have, we will try our best to meet them.
For safety reasons, your nurse will check your details of name, address, date of birth and allergy status before and during your treatment numerous times. We will place a name band on your wrist, as well. If you have an allergy you will have an extra band that shows this.
If you are having intravenous treatment (known as a drip), we will insert the cannula, which is a small tube that attaches to the drip, into your hand or forearm. If you have central venous access device (common types being Hickman or PICC lines) it will be used for the treatment.
The type and complexity of your treatment determines the length of time you will be with us. It can range from as little as 30 minutes up to 12 hours. Many treatments are an hour or two long.
Throughout your treatment you can eat and drink as normal. Even if you are attached to a drip you will be able to walk round the unit as the drip-stand is on wheels. We request you stay on the Day Unit while attached to the drip to ensure your safety.
Tea/coffee and biscuits are served mid morning and mid afternoon. Soup/sandwiches and drinks are available for patients having treatment over lunch time. Our housekeeper can order a hot meal for you, if your treatment means that you will be with us all day.
Remember that you can get a free parking pass during your treatment, please ask a member of staff about this.
On completion of your treatment you can go home. Your nurse will check if you require any medication to take with you. If you do, they will explain it and ensure you understand when and how to take it. They will also ensure that you have the 24hour contact numbers just in case you need to contact the hospital in between chemotherapy treatments. If you have concerns about your condition following chemotherapy then follow this link for information on what to do.
Your nurse should give you any further appointments before you leave. If they haven’t, please ask them.
Leeds Cancer Support team works closely with patients during their treatment and their Information Centre is adjacent to the Day Unit. Its easy to drop in and find out what services they offer; such as hair loss help, relaxation and hand and foot massage are just a small example. If you don’t want to drop in yourself, you can ask your nurse for information.