James Brokenshire joined cancer survivor June Casson and representatives from the NHS, Bexley Council and the Macmillan and Dimbleby Cancer Care charities at a special ceremony at Queen Mary’s Hospital, Sidcup, to mark the construction phase of the new state-of-the-art Cancer Centre.
The start of the building work was signalled by James and June breaking some of the ground on which the new facility will be erected. June Casson has been actively involved in shaping the project as the chair of the Patient Reference Group.
Following completion, the Queen Mary’s Cancer Centre will provide 16,000 radiotherapy and 4,600 chemotherapy treatments a year, allowing patients to receive treatment close to home rather than travelling to Central London.
The new Cancer Centre is a joint project between Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust and Guys and St Thomas’ NHS Trust. Macmillan and Dimbleby Cancer Care will also have a presence in the centre, providing their essential community care to patients and their families and helping them to come to terms with living with and hopefully recovering from cancer.
Friday’s wet weather didn’t damp the atmosphere and the construction work now commenced will see the building watertight and ready for fitting by next summer. The first patients are due to be treated in early 2016.
Speaking at the ceremony James said:
“This is absolutely fantastic news for cancer care in this area underlining the positive future for Queen Mary’s Hospital. Having fought long and hard over many years to see that this new facility was built in Sidcup, I am absolutely delighted that it will soon become a reality.
“Patient care has been at the heart of this project and the centre will ensure that those in need of specialist treatment can do so much closer to home. It also underlines the multi million pound investment going into Queen Mary’s to enhance services in this area.”