Croston House is staying open

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A pioneering cancer care centre is to reduce its opening hours because the number of patient referrals has not been as high as expected.

But although Croston House, at 113 Croston Road, Garstang, will be open for fewer days, the founder of the Cancer Help charity, Margaret O’Donoghue, says she is keen to dispel rumours it is closing completely.

She said: “There is no plan to close Croston House. However, as the number of patient referrals has not met expectations the decision has been taken to open on three days only – Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.

“The decision has been carefully considered in view of the present economic climate and the responsibility of the board of trustees to allocate donations and resources effectively.”

“All support services will remain unaffected and will be available for both the patient and his/her carer.

“Services are offered by qualified professionals, who include nurses, counsellors, a psychotherapist and complementary therapist.”

The charity Cancer Help is also renowned for its work at the Vine House hospice in Preston.

Margaret set up Cancer Help in 1989 to fill the gaps she believed existed in the health service’s treatment of cancer patients and their families. Croston House opened in 2007. In the current year the charity set a fund-raising target of £390,000

Margaret added: “Cancer can have a huge effect on emotions for all within the family and the need for information and support proves vital for many individuals.

“Croston House staff are able to support from the time of diagnosis, offering information, advice, counselling and complementary therapies.”

Meditation, relaxation, support and art and craft groups meet regularly at the Centre.

Croston House staff can be contacted on 01995 606469. Individuals can refer themselves or referrals can be made via health professionals..