A partnership between BMS and Hope for Tomorrow hits home the crucial role of Corporate Social Responsibility

Promotional Business Feature: Hope For Tomorrow
The next generation fully mobile medical cancer care unit, a ‘world first’ in healthcare innovation, is designed to change the way care is delivered

Launched at Cheltenham Racecourse, Gloucestershire-based charity Hope for Tomorrow  (HfT) unveiled its new, cutting-edge mobile cancer care unit, to provide wider access to treatments for cancer patients in the community, last November.

Hailed as a ‘world first’ in healthcare innovation, the unit offers a wide range of services including accessible daily clinics, cancer screening and education programmes, alongside a variety of treatments, as part of a long-term commitment to revolutionise the way treatment is delivered in the UK.

Hope For Tomorrow_Gen3-3By bringing its 13-strong fleet of mobile units into the heart of communities, and by working closely with NHS Trusts throughout the country to meet NHS England targets, they work to help patients fit their treatment in to their lives, rather than the other way round. Hope for Tomorrow relies entirely on donations to manage the fleet.

Building and maintaining each unit is by no means cheap – it costs £198 per day to run each one alone from the various community points up and down the country.

Building the new unit was made possible by a generous donation of over £700,000 from Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS), a biopharmaceutical company.  BMS’s donation has covered two units, the first is an upgrade of an existing unit and the second is the new specification next generation unit.

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Scott Cooke, General Manager, UK & Ireland at BMS talks about their CSR partnership with Hope for Tomorrow…

How did you become involved with Hope for Tomorrow?

We all witnessed the extraordinary contributions that NHS staff made during the height of the pandemic. As we talked to those NHS colleagues working on the frontline, it became clear that the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic was having a devastating impact on cancer diagnosis and treatment. We quickly recognised that one of the main challenges in addressing the growing backlog was NHS treatment capacity and committed to do what we could to support the recovery of NHS cancer services. We identified Hope for Tomorrow – the biggest mobile cancer treatment charity – as an ideal partner to achieve this goal. This will expand the charity’s treatment capacity by 30% and enable delivery of an additional 6,500 treatments each year for NHS patients.

What would you say are the benefits for businesses in raising funds and supporting a charity?

Through our own experience of working with Hope for Tomorrow, it has increased employee pride and engagement; for instance, we ran a popular internal competition to name one of the charity’s new mobile cancer care units, and it was one of our employees’ suggestions – Jewel, after a female cell biologist and cancer researcher Jewel Plumber Cobb – which was chosen.

Many people join a biopharmaceutical company because of our impact on patients but it is also true that for all businesses, we live in a very different world to the one two years ago. 2020 was the year many people started caring more about their employer’s response to wider societal challenges.

How important do you think CSR is for businesses?

CSR must be intrinsic to a business for it to be impactful and relevant. For us specifically, CSR is about fulfilling our responsibilities to wider society and demonstrating our commitment to supporting our NHS partners at a uniquely challenging time, so it is hugely important.

Describe how the values and ethics of BMS complement those of Hope for Tomorrow.

BMS has a long heritage in cancer, and we are proud of the potential impact that our treatments have had for NHS patients. Our mission as a company is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. We engage with partners like Hope for Tomorrow because they are supporting patients with serious diseases at a critical time.  We both share an overwhelming focus on the needs of patients and a commitment to working with NHS partners to improve cancer care, experiences and outcomes.

We work with a variety of companies to help them fulfil their CSR strategy and help them make a difference.

If your company is interested in how you could partner with Hope for Tomorrow to drive cancer care forward, please get in touch with Hannah Davies, Head of Fundraising on 01666 500111 or hannahdavies@hopefortomorrow.org.uk

hopefortomorrow.org.uk

 

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