The story of The Chartwell Cancer Trust began in 2003 when founder Michael Douglas was first diagnosed with leukaemia and underwent treatment at the Chartwell Cancer and Leukaemia Unit, The Princess Royal University Hospital (PRUH), Farnborough. The waiting times he experienced as a patient were truly eye-opening for Michael, revealing first-hand the challenges the NHS face to maintain excellence in care with limited resources and staffing shortages. “When I was finally attended to, the nurse explained that she needed a Healthcare Assistant (HCA) to help with the chemotherapy set-up and had been trying to find one for over two hours. Often, when you are diagnosed with an illness like cancer, family and friends will ask you what they can do to help. This set me thinking about just what could be done…”
Michael Douglas, Founder.
With years of experience in business and the charity sector – serving on various boards and committees including The Sportsman’s Aid Society, later to become The Teenage Cancer Trust and Young Epilepsy, Michael knew he had the expertise to make change. Following his successful treatment in 2005, Michael decided to set up a charity – The Chartwell Cancer Trust – named after the Unit where he was nursed back to health. The charity swiftly garnered a groundswell of support locally to fund the additional much needed Healthcare Assistant post.
This act of solidarity and support was just the beginning – marking the start of a very special relationship and a commitment to the Chartwell Cancer and Leukaemia Unit that remains just as strong today. This relationship not only gave the charity its name but has also defined its long-term purpose to make a critical difference to cancer care in all it does.