A project to develop a new cancer centre in north Cumbria is entering the final stages after keys to the building were officially handed over.
The new centre named the Northern Centre for Cancer Care, North Cumbria has been built on the Cumberland Infirmary site and is a partnership between North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust and Newcastle Hospitals. This will mean that more people can access care closer to home, improving cancer services for patients all over north Cumbria.
Phil Powell, directorate manager for cancer services and clinical haematology at Newcastle Hospitals said: “The building looks absolutely amazing, and we are sure the environment will be a calming and reassuring place for our patients to receive treatment.
“Staff have expressed their delight at the light and airy space as well as the state-of-the-art equipment that will be used for treatment.
“The keys have been formally handed over by the builders and now we have some snagging work to undertake as well as furniture to bring in. We hope to be treating patients in here by July.”
Michael Smillie, executive director of finance, digital and estates from North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust said: “The handing over of the keys marks a really exciting milestone in this project.
“It’s great to see the building complete and despite the challenges that came with the pandemic, everyone has worked so hard to help make sure we remain on track to welcome our first patients in the summer.”
The new centre boasts:
- two linear accelerator radiotherapy machines
- a chemotherapy day unit with 15 treatment chairs and three single treatment rooms
- a CT scanner suite
- consultation, examination rooms and a small café area
- multipurpose rooms for complementary therapies and patient support
The project has created a modern state-of-the-art environment for staff, patients, carers and their relatives. It also brings all Cumberland Infirmary’s non-surgical oncology services under the same roof so patients will no longer have to receive chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment in different parts of the hospital.
Services at the centre will be run by Newcastle Hospitals, and staff from North Cumbria’s Integrated Care NHS Trust’s oncology services transferred to join the Newcastle Hospitals’ team in April.
A turf cutting ceremony in January 2020 officially marked the start of building work which continued at pace and remained on track despite the constraints of the pandemic.