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Worcestershire Oncology Centre officially opened by HRH the Princess Royal

The county’s state-of-the-art Oncology Centre was officially opened by HRH the Princess Royal on Monday13 April.

During her visit to the Worcestershire Royal Hospital the Princess Royal also visited the hospital’s new Meadow Birth Centre.

The Princess Royal was welcomed by a crowd of staff, patients and children from the hospital’s Smileys nursery.

She was then given a tour of the state-of-the-art facilities and met with staff who had been involved in the development of the centre, as well as those now working in the unit.

During her speech, the Princess Royal congratulated Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust on all its achievements. She said “Congratulations to all those involved in getting you here. I’m very impressed by the speed this centre has been put together with and the quality of the facilities here.

“It’s difficult adding travel to anything we try and do. This centre will make a huge difference to local patients undergoing treatment.

“It’s also great to see so many volunteers here in the centre, hopefully many more will come and join in the future.”

Trust chairman Harry Turner welcomed HRH to the centre. He said “I am very proud of my trust and what we have achieved here.

“This Oncology Centre will, it is no exaggeration to say, transform the lives of some of our most seriously ill patients. We believe it will save something like one million miles of travel for all the people who currently have to go out of Worcestershire to receive cancer treatment.

“So for the first time we can treat them here, in Worcestershire, in our purpose-built new centre, developed in partnership with our very good friends at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwick.

“And here, our patients will receive the very best treatment available.”

Her Royal Highness was then given a tour of two of the new birthing rooms in the Meadow Birth Centre, before unveiling a plaque in the family room marking the occasion of the visit.

The Princess was presented with a posy of flowers by student midwife Zoe Barnett after being the first to sign the new visitor guest book in the centre before it opens to mums-to-be tomorrow morning.

Introducing the centre, Patti Paine, Divisional Director of Nursing and Midwifery said “We have tried to create a warm and welcoming environment where women and their families feel at home and can safely birth their babies in a centre that promotes active birth.”

After unveiling the plaque, HRH the Princess Royal said “I hope the queues aren’t too long for you here as I can see this will be a very popular facility.

“Congratulations on what you have achieved here and thank you all for your hard work.”

Developed in partnership with University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, the £25 million Worcestershire Oncology Centre will enable 95 per cent of radiotherapy to be delivered within Worcestershire. 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.

The Meadow Birth Centre has four birthing rooms and up to 500 women are expected to give birth in the unit this first year. It is run by experienced midwives and offers a safe place to give birth for ‘low risk’ women who have had no complications or medical problems during their pregnancy.