Cancer patients across Wales are set to benefit from £86m of investment into the country’s radiotherapy infrastructure, Welsh health minister Eluned Morgan has announced.
Almost £50m of the funding package is being ringfenced for state-of-the-art radiotherapy equipment at the Velindre Cancer Centre to replace its linear accelerator fleet.
The residual £38m will be spent on the new Radiotherapy ‘Satellite’ Centre at Abergavenny’s Nevill Hall Hospital, which will be open by next year, in a move that the Welsh Government say will improve treatment, make radiotherapy services safer, enhance overall efficiency, and expand max capacity.
Eluned Morgan said: “The opening of a satellite radiotherapy centre in southeast Wales and our recapitalisation of radiotherapy equipment demonstrates our commitment to making significant investments in improving cancer services and outcomes in Wales.
“The new satellite model will improve access to radiotherapy, servicing many of our most socio-economically disadvantaged communities along the heads of the valleys and northern Gwent.
“This builds on recent investments in the development of the new Velindre Cancer Centre and similar investments in radiotherapy, treatment planning and diagnostic equipment in our southwest and north Wales cancer treatment centres.
“This is part of our longer-term approach of ensuring people are able to access recommended radiotherapy techniques within cancer waiting time targets and professional access standards.”
The investment will also provide ultra-modern cancer treatment planning software, the requisite digital hardware, and the necessary building refurbishments. By the end of the project, South-East Wales will benefit from the latest software to coordinate cancer treatment, a new range of radiotherapy machines, an extra Radiotherapy Satellite Centre, and a rejuvenated Velindre Cancer Centre.
Velindre University NHS Trust’s Chief Executive, Steve Ham, added: “Our new fleet of radiotherapy machines will be among the best in Europe and will deliver state-of-the-art treatment to cancer patients in South-East Wales and beyond. We are grateful to the Welsh Government for their investment and look forward to working with our partners to build better cancer services for generations to come.
“Our staff and patients are at the heart of our service development and we are extremely grateful for the dedication they continue to demonstrate to improving patient outcomes whilst delivering first-class care today.
“Alongside the development of the new Velindre Cancer Centre, this will allow us to keep pace with increasing demand as the number of people referred to us with cancer grows every year.”