Worcestershire Oncology Centre opens its doors to patients
The county’s brand new, state-of-the-art Oncology Centre opened its doors to patients on Monday 26 January, 14 months after the first bricks were laid.
For patients, their families and their carers, who previously had to travel to Coventry, Cheltenham or Wolverhampton for radiotherapy treatment, cancer services will be more accessible than ever, saving an estimated one million miles of travel every year.
Developed in partnership with University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, the £25 million centre, based at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, will enable 95 per cent of radiotherapy to be delivered within Worcestershire.
Jane Schofield, Deputy Chief Operating Officer at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and the Oncology Centre Project Director, said: “Everyone who has been involved in the project since the county’s Cancer Strategy was signed off four years ago is absolutely thrilled to have reached this day. The focus all along has been on developing and delivering a world class service to our patients and the focus over the next few weeks will be on gradually building up the service to make sure everything is spot on.
“The new team of consultant oncologists, clinical physics staff, radiotherapy staff and associated nursing and admin staff have been recruited from across the country and they are passionate about establishing the service and enhancing the care for our patients. It’s a fantastic team.”
Clive Irwin, Consultant Oncologist, said: “Seeing our first patient was a very exciting and anxious time for all the staff involved who have worked very hard over the past few months to make this happen.
“The new Oncology Centre is a really major step forward in delivering specialised radiotherapy treatment locally for all Worcestershire residents.”
Worcester Mayor, Cllr Alan Amos visited the centre yesterday, as part of a wider visit to the hospital. He said: “It was fascinating to visit the exciting new facilities at Worcestershire Royal Hospital. What impressed me most was seeing first-hand how clean, modern and efficient they all are.
“The new developments of the Worcestershire Oncology Centre and the Midwife-led Birth Unit will benefit patient experience no end. In particular the time, effort and energy that patients will save by having this facility right on their doorstep is superb. The centre feels very calm and gives a fantastic first impression to patients and visitors.
“The staff across the hospital amazed me with their dedication, enthusiasm and commitment to patient care - I greatly admire all of their hard work.”
The greenlight has also been given to exciting plans which will see a chemotherapy suite, clinic areas, and an acute oncology emergency assessment bay – which are currently situated within the main Worcestershire Royal Hospital - move into the first floor of the building.
It is expected that the move will increase the number of county patients who are able to receive their chemotherapy treatment within the county from 75% to 95%, and enable 85% of county patients requiring concurrent radiotherapy and chemotherapy to receive it locally. It is hoped that the services will open in the new centre by early spring 2016.
Further information on the county’s new radiotherapy service is available at http://www.worcsacute.nhs.uk/radiotherapy