Thousands of patients in North Cumbria are set to benefit from state-of-the-art cancer diagnosis and treatment at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care North Cumbria – housed in the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle – which was officially opened by the Health Secretary Sajid Javid today (Thursday 19 August).
The £35 million facility visited by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care today will be used by patients from across north, west and east Cumbria, making it one of the biggest combined cancer treatment services in the country.
The centre brings new, cutting-edge services under one roof in north Cumbria for the first time including a chemotherapy day unit, radiotherapy machines and a CT scanner as well as outpatients, consultation and examination rooms. The new facilities means most adult cancer patients in Cumbria will be able to receive care close to home, rather than having to travel.
The Health Secretary toured the centre, spoke to frontline staff and patients and officially opened the new facilities.
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Sajid Javid said:
“I am incredibly honoured to open this cancer hospital in Carlisle, which will support thousands of people by bringing these vital services under one roof, as part of our commitment to deliver 48 hospitals by 2030, backed by an initial £3.7 billion.
“Cancer diagnosis and treatment is a top priority and I am committed to tackling the backlogs caused by this pandemic.
“The NHS is here for everyone and I look forward to seeing how the hospital will help to diagnose and treat cancer patients across Cumbria by levelling up cancer care in the region.”
The centre welcomed its first patients last week, and expects to receive 1,200 new patients a year in addition to the 2,000 patients already set to receive treatment or follow-up care at the new centre. The expert team expects to deliver 11,500 radiotherapy treatments, 8,000 chemotherapy treatments and 4,000 supportive therapy treatments annually.
The government’s commitment to deliver 48 hospitals includes three dedicated cancer hospitals which will provide better care for patients, an improved working environment for staff and help the NHS reach its net zero carbon ambition.
The commitment forms part of the government’s Health Infrastructure Plan, a strategic long-term investment to ensure the NHS and those working in it have the world-class facilities they need for the future. Each local hospital will learn from best practice with advice from national experts so they will be amongst the best in country.
Dame Jackie Daniel, Chief Executive, Newcastle Hospitals said:
“I’m delighted that we have been able to bring the Northern Centre for Cancer Care to North Cumbria so that local people can benefit from high quality, safe and sustainable services.
“This £35 million investment will bring specialist services closer to the homes of the 2,000 patients each year, many of whom would previously have needed to travel to Newcastle for care.
“I’m very proud of the whole team for delivering such high quality services, and for their tireless work throughout the pandemic to continue providing outstanding care.”
Services at the centre will be run by The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust as part of the Northern Centre for Cancer Care, which also has a site at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.