Cancer patient

Royal Marsden NHS FT mark milestone in construction of new cancer centre

The Royal Marsden NHS FT marked a significant milestone in the construction of its new state-of-the-art cancer treatment and research facility yesterday, with the concrete structure now complete.

The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, together with its dedicated supporters, are raising £70m to make the Oak Cancer Centre possible. 

The new facility, adjacent to The Royal Marsden in Sutton, will enable the hospital to tackle some of the most pressing challenges in cancer research and treatment today.

The Royal Marsden currently has more clinical trials for cancer open than anywhere else in the UK, and it aims to go further with the new centre, by increasing the number of patients on clinical trials.

To facilitate this, the Kuok Group Foundation Research Centre will bring together more than 400 researchers under the same roof as clinicians and patients.

Karl Munslow

                           Caption: Karl Munslow Ong laying the final blocks of concrete

Karl Munslow Ong, Chief Operating Officer at The Royal Marsden, said: “It is an honour to mark this significant milestone in the construction of the Oak Cancer Centre and I am grateful to all the supporters of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity who are fast making it become a reality.

“This building will be quite literally life-changing for those who walk through its doors; it has been specially designed to enhance patient experience and provide our staff with the best facilities to conduct their life-saving and innovative work.

“With one in two people now likely to be affected by cancer during their lifetime, innovations in how we find and treat cancer before it’s had a chance to grow and spread can make all the difference.

“The early diagnosis centre and research spaces will help speed up the translation of pioneering research into breakthroughs in treatment and care, meaning the Oak Cancer Centre truly has the potential to transform the lives of cancer patients not just at The Royal Marsden, but across the UK and around the world.”

Research teams who specialise in different cancer types will be able to work together, sharing ideas in breakout spaces to help speed up the development of new treatments for people with cancer throughout the UK and around the world.

The Oak Cancer Centre has been designed to treat patients in environments that will optimise their experience of visiting the hospital.

The building will make the most efficient use of space and provide a better layout for patients and staff.

This will include:

  • A consolidated Outpatient Department, accessible on a single floor;
  • a Day Care Unit that will enable patients to receive their treatment in modern, spacious environments filled with natural light;
  • the state-of-the-art Goldman Sachs Gives Centre for Urgent Care, that will allow acutely unwell inpatients to be assessed in-house, without needing to be sent to a local A&E department;
  • and The Charles Wolfson Rapid Diagnostic Centre, with the latest diagnostic technology that will enable consultants to find more cancers at an earlier stage, when treatment is more likely to be successful.
  • A brand-new endoscopy suite, located alongside the Rapid Diagnostic Centre, will also help to improve early diagnosis.

The building is on track to open by the end of 2022, with contractors working safely throughout the pandemic to keep the project on schedule.

Just 11 months ago, HRH The Duke of Cambridge visited the site to lay a foundation stone and celebrate breaking ground.

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The integration of new technology, such as using virtual outpatient appointments instead of face-to-face reviews of patients in the hospital. Adapting the ways in which our NHS workers serve people has been critical in continuing to provide high-quality treatment, a positive patient experience and preventing Covid-19 transmission during the pandemic. Our healthcare sector has the potential to transform the way we continue to provide essential services while also improving patient care. But how easy is the integration of these innovations into routine NHS practice?

On the 28th of October, at the NHE365 Virtual Hospitals & Technology Enabled Care online event, we will be discussing patient flow and experience, reducing waiting times, reducing the patient backlog and increasing technology adoption. Will you be attending? 

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