Cancer Care Closer to Home

25 November 2014
Cancer survivor June Casson joined MP James Brokenshire and representatives from across the community at a special ceremony at Queen Mary’s Hospital to signal the start of construction work on the new state-of-the-art Cancer Centre.

Following completion in 2016, the Queen Mary’s Cancer Centre will be able to provide 16,000 radiotherapy and 4,600 chemotherapy treatments a year, allowing patients to receive treatment close to home rather than having to make the trip to central London.

The new Cancer Centre is a partnership project between Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. Macmillan Cancer Support and Dimbleby Cancer Care will also have a presence in the centre, providing community care and support to patients and their families.

Speaking at the ceremony James Brokenshire, MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup said: “This is absolutely fantastic news for cancer care in this area underlining the positive future for Queen Mary’s Hospital.”

This is a significant milestone in the £30 million redevelopment of the Queen Mary’s site by Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust.

When the state-of-the-art Cancer Centre opens in 2016, most patients will no longer travel into central London for radiotherapy and chemotherapy because Guy’s and St Thomas’ staff will provide these life-saving treatments in Sidcup.

The Cancer Centre will include two new linear accelerator machines for radiotherapy treatment, as well as chemotherapy treatment facilities and an information and support service for cancer patients and their families which will be provided by Dimbleby Cancer Care and Macmillan Cancer Support.

June Casson, who is a member of the Patient Reference Group which has shaped the new Cancer Centre, says: “It has been a real privilege to be involved in the development of the new Cancer Centre at Queen Mary’s.

“I was treated for endometrial (womb) cancer 10 years ago which included daily radiotherapy treatment at St Thomas’ Hospital. I was travelling up to 90 minutes each way every day for a session of treatment which only took 30 minutes.

“This new Cancer Centre is really needed by patients in Bexley and the surrounding areas because radiotherapy is tiring and traumatic enough without commuting into central London for treatment.”

Dave Mellish, Chairman of Oxleas, said: “Our redevelopment programme for Queen Mary’s will deliver a range of state-of-the-art facilities for local people including a new Cancer Centre, Kidney Treatment Centre, Day Surgery Unit, Children’s Centre and a new Urgent Care Centre.”

Angela Francis, Head of Radiotherapy Services at Guy’s and St Thomas’, said: “We have worked with Oxleas and patient representatives in south east London over a number of years to bring radiotherapy nearer to where patients live.

“It is fantastic that work is now underway on the new Cancer Centre at Queen Mary’s. Many local people will benefit from having chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment closer to home and under one roof in a purpose-built facility.”

James Brokenshire added: “Having campaigned for the new Cancer Centre for many years, I am absolutely delighted that building work is starting.

“The new Centre will deliver significant improvements for cancer care in this area, providing patients with treatment much closer to home. It’s also a further vote of confidence in Queen Mary’s, underlining the positive future for the hospital and strengthening the range of services provided from Sidcup.”