The upcoming opening of the new Cancer Treatment Centre at Queen Mary’s Hospital Sidcup marks a further significant step forward for our local hospital. After years of uncertainty and serious doubts over Queen Mary’s future we are now seeing the benefits of an investment plan to enhance facilities for patients in this area.
The new cancer centre is something I’ve campaigned for long and hard over many years and it is great to see the project entering its final phase. Patients will be able to receive radiotherapy treatment in outer south east London for the very first time, preventing the need to travel into Central London. Chemotherapy treatment will also be provided in bright, new comfortable surroundings and the new Dimbleby Macmillan Support Centre, will offer information and advice to both patients and their families. Having been a regular visitor as the building works have progressed, I am in no doubt this flagship facility will transform care in this area.
The new Cancer Centre forms part of a multi-million pound investment plan for Queen Mary’s. This programme has already seen the opening of the Meadowview Intermediate Care ward and the Holbrook specialist dementia ward. A new Children’s Development Centre is also due to open in the summer and the Kidney Treatment Centre is expected to see its first patients in early 2017. But the work hasn’t finished.
I’m delighted that Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust which owns Queen Mary’s has committed to an investment plan totalling £21.9million at the hospital. This will provide modern new facilities for out-patients, women’s services, musculoskeletal therapies and cardiology as well as enhancing the Urgent Care Centre. I pay tribute to the team at Oxleas - and its former Chief Executive Stephen Firn in particular - for having the vision and commitment to drive these changes forward in conjunction with Guy’s & St Thomas’s, Kings and other NHS organisations.
Since the establishment of the original Queen’s Hospital in 1917 treating soldiers wounded during the Great War, through the establishment of the current Queen Mary’s Hospital in 1929 and the construction of the main hospital building in the 1970s, our local hospital has seen continued change. There is little doubt that there have been some significant ups and downs during this time. But this new programme of investment consigns the dark days of the failed South London Healthcare Trust and the loss of services to the past and opens up a bright new chapter.
Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the doctors, nurses, staff and all those who have campaigned consistently for our local hospital, Queen Mary’s can look to the future with confidence and a positive centenary next year.