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Centre closure upheaval for cancer sufferer, 97

PUBLISHED: 14:38 06 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:54 25 August 2010

ANGER: Jo Nicholson

ANGER: Jo Nicholson

AN 97-year-old wheelchair-bound cancer sufferer is angry at being relocated from the therapy centre she loves to one in a neighbouring town.

AN 97-year-old wheelchair-bound cancer sufferer is angry at being relocated from the therapy centre she loves to one in a neighbouring town.

The EllenorLions Hospice's Day Therapy centre at St Rowan's View, Dartford, has merged with a centre in Coldharbour Road, Northfleet.

Although most patients are being transferred to the Northfleet site, which has more facilities, three patients have had to fund alternative centres since the Dartford site closed last Monday.

Emma 'Tricksy' Luckhurst, who has cancer of the salina gland on the right side of her face and a broken hip, has attended the Dartford site for 15 months. Her daughter Jo Nicholson, who lives with Mrs Luckhurst in Elmstead Crescent, Welling, said: "We want them to keep it open. She likes the people there and she likes going on a Monday. She really likes the staff there - they are very helpful and considerate. I can't understand why they have closed it - because EllenorLions don't fund the centre, they do all their own fundraising."

The 70-year-old, who is also her mother's full-time carer, explained that, because Mrs Luckhurst lives nearer Bexley, they weren't eligible for a transfer to the Northfleet site.

So she will now take Mrs Luckhurst to Greenwich and Bexley Cottage Hospice, which she currently attends on Mondays and Thursdays.

However, whereas the EllenorLions staff used to organise travel, Mrs Nicholson will have to drive her mother to the centre on Greenwich High Road.

Speaking via her daughter, Mrs Luckhurst told us: "I am very sorry not to be staying there. The people are nice."

Linda Trew, public relations and partnership manager at EllenorLions, which offers palliative care for people with life-shortening illnesses across north Kent, said: "The decisions were made having done a full review of the services which included looking at feedback from patients and families. We understand that change can be difficult for some and will do what we can to support them."

For more information, visit: www.ellenorlions.org.

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