Posted on Thursday 1 August 2013
Patient Diana Crawshaw and local MP Simon Hughes 'break the ground'
Breast cancer survivor Diana Crawshaw carried out the official ‘breaking the ground’ ceremony to signal the start of construction work on the new £160 million Cancer Centre at Guy’s Hospital yesterday (Wednesday 31 July).
The ceremony was also attended by local MP Simon Hughes who was recently given a behind-the-scenes tour of the construction site which is set to provide jobs for local people over the next three years of this major building project.
Diana, from Sydenham in south east London, chairs the Patient Reference Group which has played an important role in shaping the new centre.
She says: “It has been a real privilege to be involved in the development of the new Cancer Centre. Patients have been fully consulted on every important decision and we were even involved in the process of choosing the architects.
“I was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2008 and had surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy at Guy’s. The main reason I chose Guy’s was because the transport links into London Bridge station meant it was convenient but as my treatment progressed I realised I was very lucky to be there because I had superb care.
“Although my surgeon confirmed recently that my five years of treatment had been successful, I will continue to be involved in clinical trials. I have benefited from the results of previous research into new treatments and I want to help other people in my position.”
Guy’s and St Thomas’ is among the largest provider of cancer services in London but these services are currently located in a number of different areas on both hospital sites. When the new Cancer Centre at Guy’s opens to patients in 2016, it will bring together the majority of care and research in a single state-of-the-art building.
Diana explains: “The new Cancer Centre at Guy’s will be unique because patients will be able to receive most of their treatment under one roof and, crucially, research will be fully integrated so that patients benefit from the latest advances.”
Dr Maj Kazmi, Clinical Director of cancer services at Guy’s and St Thomas’, says: “We want patients to have their say in every aspect of how their care is delivered, everything from being involved in decisions about their treatment to helping us to design the facilities in which their treatment is provided.”
The building project is being managed by Essentia, the Trust’s capital, estates and facilities directorate. The lead contractors are Laing O’Rourke.
Steve McGuire, Director of Essentia, says: “The new Cancer Centre will benefit not only cancer patients but also our local community because we and Laing O’Rourke are committed to employing local people on the construction project.”
Ged Simmonds, London and South East operations manager for Laing O’Rourke, adds: “The focus from the start of the design process has been about putting people at the heart of the project. This will be just as important during construction when we will continue to develop our relationship with Guy’s Hospital and the local community – working safely and considerately, and making the most of learning and employment opportunities.”