Posted on Monday 24 November 2014
June Casson and local MP James Brokenshire signal the start of construction work on the new Cancer Centre, Sidcup
Cancer survivor June Casson carried out the official ‘breaking the ground’ ceremony to signal the start of construction work on the new Cancer Centre at Queen Mary’s Hospital in Sidcup on Friday (21 November).
June, 66, from Downham, shared the honour with local MP James Brokenshire.
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.”
Angela Francis, Head of Radiotherapy Services at Guy’s and St Thomas’, says: “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, MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup, adds: “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.”