A £5m fundraising appeal to provide a local cancer treatment centre was launched at a VIP dinner on Friday 9th November.
More than 100 guests from business and commerce and leading local public figures attended a dinner sponsored by Mr Rafi Razzak, Chairman of Centerprise International and Basingstoke Town Football Club, where guests heard about the cancer treatment centre, which will be operated by Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and where the six shortlisted design concepts for the cancer treatment centre building were unveiled.
Hampshire Hospitals Divisional Director of Surgical Services, Mr Myrddin Rees, who is leading the cancer centre fundraising project, said: "I passionately believe this is an opportunity for the people of north Hampshire to come together to provide something very special that they can all be proud of. We will be creating a healing environment where people with cancer can be treated in surroundings that offer hope, a safe haven, and which provide support for the whole family."
Chemotherapy treatment is already given in Basingstoke and Winchester, but patients have to travel to Southampton or Guildford for radiotherapy. This can mean a journey every day for a period of weeks when patients are feeling unwell and vulnerable. Patients also need to visit a variety of other places for supportive care. The new cancer centre aims to provide radiotherapy, chemotherapy, palliative care and core therapies, as well as information, advice and complementary therapies
under one roof, in an outstanding environment and state of the art building which will enhance the psychological well being of patients and their families, closer to patients' homes.
Hampshire Hospitals Clinical Director for Cancer Services, Dr Lara Alloway, said: "Our vision is to build a cancer centre which will improve the experience of the thousands of local people living with cancer. The centre will provide radiotherapy, chemotherapy and supportive care in an outstanding environment. It is really important to us that the building is welcoming, tranquil and epitomises the high quality care we provide. It is very exciting to now be able to visualise how the centre may look."
Winchester & Chandler's Ford MP Steve Brine said: "If the new Trust can deliver a world-class facility, combining acute care and specialist cancer treatment that gives my constituents the best possible chance when they fall ill, that is more than welcome. The big question in the NHS going forward is can we achieve outcomes around the big five killers, that match, or even beat, the best in Europe. At the moment we don't get close but we must act if we are to save lives.
"I never miss an opportunity to support improved health outcomes locally but the Trust are acutely aware, for me, that goes hand in hand with high quality outpatient services, emergency care and full range maternity provision at the RHCH."
Although the cancer centre is planned to be constructed in 2015 and opened in 2016, the first phase will be the provision of a temporary radiotherapy suite on the Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital site, which means less patients will have to travel to Southampton or Guildford to receive treatment. This is expected to be operational in 2013.
The fundraising campaign aims to raise £5m, to create the healing environment in the cancer treatment centre. The build costs of approximately £13m and all the running costs of delivering the services will be funded by Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Charitable bodies, such as the North Hampshire Medical Fund and RadCan are assisting with fundraising for specific pieces of equipment for the centre.
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