Clinical Assessment Unit, Chelsea

The Clinical Assessment Unit (CAU) is an acute cancer (oncology) unit in The Royal Marsden's Chelsea hospital.

The unit is for cancer patients who need prompt assessment for troublesome symptoms, either due to their treatment or disease. A specialised team of doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals carry out thorough assessments and perform various tests and investigations in order to develop a tailored plan of care and treatment.

Our experienced and knowledgeable team aim to provide effective and efficient care in a timely manner. Having a dedicated ‘acute oncology service’ means that many patients can leave the hospital on the same day they are treated. If an overnight stay is required, admission to The Royal Marsden or a nearby hospital or hospice is arranged.

There are eight trolley bed areas and five treatment chairs in the unit. There are designated male and female toilet facilities with disabled access to both.

Day case procedures

Some elective day case procedures are performed on the unit to minimise delays in treatments and assist with diagnoses. These include:

  • Abdominal drains
  • Bladder care post-urinary catheter removal
  • Blood product transfusions
  • Intravenous infusions
  • Care before and after interventional radiological guided biopsies / procedures
  • Bone marrow aspirates and trephines
  • Lumbar punctures.

Usually day case patients will go home on the same day as their treatment.

Location, directions and parking

The CAU is located on the ground floor of the hospital in the Chelsea Wing. It is signposted from the main corridor of the hospital.

Opening times and visitors

CAU is open 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday.

There is a small seated area next to the CAU where patients’ families and friends can wait while patients are being assessed and/or treated.

Food and drink

Sandwiches, nutritional snacks, and hot and cold drinks are available for patients being treated on CAU.

Your hospital visit

CAU staff

Nurses working on CAU have a firm knowledge and understanding of cancer nursing and are expertly skilled in a number of clinical procedures, such as:

  • Taking blood (phlebotomy)
  • Inserting a fine tube into a vein (cannulation)
  • Inserting a tube for urinary drainage (catheterisation)
  • Giving medications, fluids and various blood products into a vein.

They also have advanced assessment and diagnostic skills, enabling them to review patients and start early goal directed treatment (EGDT) for better patient outcomes.

They work closely with other members of the multidisciplinary healthcare team ensuring safe and optimum care is provided within the unit.

The matrons are Victoria Ward and Lorraine Guinan.

Contact details

Tel: 020 7811 8432

Ground Floor, Chelsea Wing, The Royal Marsden, Fulham Road, London SW3 6JJ