Chemotherapy Service

This page contains a series of leaflets in the form of links which provide additional information on subjects regarding chemotherapy from the beginning of your treatment to when it is completed.

Calderdale Royal Hospital (CRH) Main switchboard 01422 357171

The main switchboard is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week

01422 357171

Chemotherapy Helpline

24-hour helpline for patients who are receiving chemotherapy and become unwell

01422 222 999

Chemotherapy Nurses

For queries regarding chemotherapy schedules/appointments

Huddersfield Royal Infirmary (HRI) - Greenlea Unit 01484 342155

Calderdale Royal Hospital (CRH) - Macmillan Unit 01422 222668

CHFT Macmillan Information and Support Team

The team ofer emotional, practical, financial support; courses and support groups for patients and family members.

Huddersfield Royal Infirmary  -  01484 343614 

Calderdale Royal Hospital - 01422 222709



Greenlea Huddersfield Royal Infirmary

For any general queries please contact reception at the Greenlea Unit on 01484 343600.

Haematology patients

For appointments and nursing queries please call 

Huddersfield Royal Infirmary 01484 342683

Calderdale Royal Hospital 01422 222008

Huddersfield Royal Infirmary Main Switchboard - 01484 342000

The main switchboard is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week

01484 342000

Macmillan Unit Reception - Calderdale Royal Hospital

For any general queries 01422 222700

Oncology Secretaries

For any queries regarding consultant appointments or changing any CT/MRI appointments 01484 343448 or 01484 343447

Rowlands Pharmacy

For any prescription queries please call 

Huddersfield Royal Infirmary 01484 548048

Calderdale Royal Hospital 01422 323580

Transport queries

Hospital transport needs to be booked bt staff for the first time, but this number is for queries or if you need to cancel transport - 0300 330 2000.

If you have been on hospital transport before, you can phone this number to book your own transport.

Ward 12 Huddersfield Royal Infirmary (Inpatient Cancer Ward)

Ward 12 is based at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and can be contacted on either 01484 342474 or 01484 347274

The Macmillian Unit at Calderdale Royal Hospital

Greenlea Unit at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary

What is chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy is a type of treatment for cancer. It uses special drugs to kill cancer cells in the body. Some types of cancer can be treated with just chemotherapy. Sometimes chemotherapy is used with other treatments like radiotherapy and surgery.

Why is chemotherapy given?

Chemotherapy is given for different reasons:

  • It can be given because it is the best way to get rid of the cancer 
  • It can be given because other treatments are not enough on their own to get rid of the cancer
  • It can be given to help you live longer
  • It can also be given to manage and palliative symptoms

How chemotherapy works

There are lots of different types of chemotherapy drugs. The drugs travel through the body in your blood.
They work by damaging the cancer cells so that they can not spread and make more cancer cells.

The drugs can also kill some of the healthy cells in your body. But healthy cells can usually mend
themselves and get back to normal after a short time. The effects of the drugs on healthy cells can
cause side effects like tiredness or feeling sick. Some people will only have a few side effects and others may have more.

What happens when I have chemotherapy?

Your doctor will tell you when you will need treatment. Some people have treatment for a few weeks and other people might need to have treatment for a few months. People usually have some treatments and then have a break from the treatments.

Over the time you are having chemotherapy your doctor will keep checking to see how the treatment is working. They might then change your treatment.

Usually people come to the hospital for treatment and then go home the same day.

24 - 48 hours prior to each chemotherapy treatment you will need to have a blood test in order to do this you need to book via this telephone number 01484 355765 to arrange for your bloods taking. The appointment can be at either Huddersfield Royal Infirmary or Calderdale Royal Hospital.

If you are a patient from Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust you can have your pre-treatment bloods taken at your local hospital (Pontefract 01977 747130 or Dewsbury 01924 512244 contact them to arrange an appointment). You will be given a blood form from the Chemotherapy Nurse at CHFT to take with you.

When you arrive please ask the nurses to validate your parking stay.

How is chemotherapy administrered

Chemotherapy treatment can be given in different ways. The two main ways that chemotherapy is
given are:
Tablets or capsules. 
Your doctor or nurse will tell you how many tablets to take and how often to take them.

It is very important you know when to take your tablets. You may need support with this.

By injection
This means putting the drugs into your blood through your skin using a needle. There are different
places on your body that the drugs can be injected into. You will usually have to have lots of treatments,
so the nurse will put a small tube under your skin that stays there all the way through your
treatment. This is called a portacath it makes it easier to give you the drugs without having to give
you lots of injections.


Not everyone will get side-effects, as different drugs have different side-effects and each person reacts in a different way.

Please click here for further information on side-effects.

Oral Chemotherapy

General Advice

Your oral chemotherapy tablets or capsules will be clearly labelled with instructions on how and when to take your medicine. If you have any queries, or are unsure how or when to take your oral chemotherapy please contact your chemotherapy unit or pharmacy for advice.

Oral chemotherapy has side effects, it is important that you know what they can be and how to manage them. Each chemotherapy drug has its own patient information leaflet which you should refer to.


How do I handle oral chemotherapy safely?

· Try to make sure that you are the only person who touches your chemotherapy tablets or capsules. If you have someone who helps you take your chemotherapy medicines they should wear disposable gloves (available from your chemotherapy unit) when doing so.

· Pregnant or breastfeeding women must not handle oral chemotherapy.

· Do not break or crush tablets, or open capsules. If you are having difficulty swallowing your medicine please contact the pharmacy for advice .

· Keep your chemotherapy in a safe place, refrigerate if instructed to do so and always keep out of the reach of children or pets.

· If you need to dispose of any tablets please return them to any pharmacy ,do not put in the dustbin.


What happens if I am sick or forget to take a dose?

· Do not take an extra tablet without discussing with your doctor.

· If you forget a dose carry on taking the normal dose when the next dose is due.

· Do not double-up doses or take extra doses to make up for the missed dose; Inform your doctor or chemotherapy unit.


How do I obtain further supplies?

Your GP will not be able to give you a prescription for oral chemotherapy. Further supplies are only available from your hospital doctor, not from your GP. It is important that your GP does not duplicate the supply as this can lead to serious side-effects if an incorrect dose is taken.

Please ensure that you ring the chemotherapy helpline on 01422 222999 if you are experiencing any side effects and feel unwell.

Information on extravasation

This provides information for patients whose chemotherapy may have leaked from the vein into which they were having their chemotherapy, this is known as an extravasation.

It will explain what an extravasation is, what complications may occur and how it will be managed.

What is an extravasation?

Extravasation occurs when chemotherapy leaks from a vein into the skin or surrounding tissues.

Extravasations can also occur in rare occasions even if you have a PICC line or a central line placed

If an extravasation occurs you will usually notice pain, swelling or redness near the site of the drip used for your chemotherapy.

If you notice any of these signs or symptoms whilst having your chemotherapy YOU MUST inform the nurses immediately.

Possible complications

The complications will vary depending on which chemotherapy drug has caused the problem.

Most patients will experience few problems following an extravasation however some drugs may damage the skin and surrounding tissues if they leak.

It can result in swelling, redness, pain or the development of blisters or ulcers.


The treatment will vary depending on what drug has caused the problem.

You will be given treatment by your nurse immediately if an extravasation happens or is suspected to have happened.

You will also be given advice about what to do when you go home and any follow up appointments.

You may be given:

  • An injection of drugs into the skin around the extravasation area
  • Be given creams/lotions to apply to the area
  • Advised to use heat or cold to the affected area

These are given to minimise any damage the chemotherapy may cause.

 When you have gone home if you notice any of the symptoms mentioned you should contact us IMMEDIATELY on the patient 24hr helpline number 01422 222999.

Starting your cancer treatment

We have created a leaflet for you to download which has information for patients, carers and relatives for when you start your cancer treatment at either Huddersfield Royal Infirmary or Calderdale Royal Hospital.

Please click here to view the leaflet.

Oncology and Haematology 24 hour Emergency Helpline

The Oncology and Haematology 24 hour Emergency Helpline is for problems related to your treatment or your cancer.

Chemotherapy and other treatments related to your cancer are known to have unpleasant side effects. Some of which include pain, nausea, vomiting, tiredness, constipation, diarrhoea, sore mouth, loss of appetite, feeling generally unwell, infection, sore hands and feet.

When to contact us

Please contact us immediately if any of these things happen.

  •  High temperature or fever. If you feel hot, cold shivery or otherwise unwell, please check your temperature with a thermometer (a normal temperature is 37°C or 98.4°F). If your temperature is less than 36°C or 38°C (100°F) or higher, please ring the hospital team immediately. Do not take anything (even paracetamol) to bring your temperature down, until you have sought advice from your hospital team. This is because they could hide any symptoms of infection and make it difficult to work out what was wrong with you.
  • Feeling very unwell or having symptoms of infection, even if you don't have a temperature
  • Sever sickness or a sore mouth which prevents you from swallowing or keeping drinks down.
  • Severe diarrhoea.
  • Bruises or small blood spots which appear on your body
  • Blood when you go to the toilet, or bleeding elsewhere which doesn't stop easily.
  • A headache which doesn't get better with paracetamol.

The Oncology and Haematology 24 Hour Helpline leaflet

Please click here to access a leaflet with further information

What to expect when you contact the helpline

When you contact the helpline – you will be greeted by an acute oncology nurse/health care assistant. Who will ask you questions regarding how you have been feeling.

Please note – the helpline is based in Huddersfield (although the number shows as Halifax).

If you ring the helpline and there is no answer, please leave your full name, date of birth, hospital number and a telephone number for the team to contact you back. We aim to respond to all messages in a timely manner.

Most times, we can advise you over the telephone, however it may be that you need to attend hospital to be reviewed in person by the specialist doctor/nurse.

In this case you will be asked to attend ward 12 at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.
You’ll be seen by a nurse who will take your observations and a blood test. Then be reviewed by a doctor.

Although we aim to discharge most of our patient who attend the helpline – there may be a situation that you may need to be admitted into hospital. In this case we always advise for you to bring in an overnight bag and current medication.  

Additional resources

Cancer Research UK

A charity that is researching treatments for cancer. Its website has lots of information about cancer.
Phone: 0808 800 4040

Macmillan Cancer Support
A charity that helps people who have cancer. They give practical, medical and financial support. They try to make cancer care in the UK better.
Phone: 0808 808 00 00