Posted on Monday 26 September 2016
Our Cancer Centre at Guy's has been designed by patients for patients (photo: Morley Von Sternberg).
A new £160 million Cancer Centre at Guy’s Hospital, which has been designed by patients for patients, has welcomed its first patients today (Monday 26 September).
The first outpatient clinics are being held in the new building this week with chemotherapy treatment starting next Monday 3 October and radiotherapy treatment due to start on 7 November, as part of a phased opening.
Dr Majid Kazmi, Clinical Director of Cancer Services at Guy’s and St Thomas’, says: “It is fantastic to welcome the first patients to our new Cancer Centre. Today is the culmination of more than 10 years of planning and working in partnership with our patients to create a building to transform cancer care.”
Alastair Gourlay, Cancer Centre Project Director and Director of Asset Management, Essentia at Guy’s and St Thomas’, says: “There’s a real sense of realising the Trust’s vision of creating ‘a hospital that doesn’t feel like a hospital’.
“By working with our partner organisations we have successfully delivered the project on time and without causing disruption to either the local community or patient appointments at Guy’s.”
The new Cancer Centre at Guy’s brings together most treatment under one roof – previously cancer care was provided in 13 different locations in eight different buildings on the St Thomas’ and Guy’s sites.
It is the first cancer centre in Europe to provide radiotherapy treatment above ground level after patients said this would make a huge difference to them.
Diana Crawshaw, who chairs the Patient Reference Group which has shaped the new Cancer Centre, says: “Patients have been consulted at every stage and no decision has been made without us. Our views have been welcomed, listened to and acted on. Locating radiotherapy treatment above ground in response to patient feedback is just one of many examples.”
The new Cancer Centre at Guy’s also brings together treatment and research in an Innovation Hub.
Professor Peter Parker, Head of the Division of Cancer Studies at King's College London, says: “Expanding our Experimental Medicine Programme will enable us to grow our capabilities in designing and conducting clinical trials for new treatments.
“Our vision is for the Innovation Hub to cross-fertilise ideas between researchers and clinicians so that potentially impactful discoveries can be advanced rapidly and successful approaches for one cancer type can be tested quickly in others.”
Largely funded by Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, the Cancer Centre at Guy’s was made possible by a grant of £25 million from Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity and a £15 million grant awarded to King’s College London from the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (managed by the Higher Education Funding Council) for the Innovation Hub.
Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity also provided a grant of £1.7 million for an arts programme – no NHS funds have been spent on this aspect of the project.
Kieron Boyle, Chief Executive of Guy's and St Thomas' Charity, says: “The opening of the landmark Cancer Centre at Guy’s represents a huge leap in the journey to transform cancer treatment, care and research here at Guy’s and St Thomas’.”