The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust has marked a significant milestone in the construction of its new state-of-the-art treatment and research facility, the Oak Cancer Centre.
Funded from a £70 million appeal from The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and named after the lead donor, Oak Foundation, the concrete structure of the Oak Centre is now complete, with a traditional topping-out ceremony being held to mark the building reaching its full height.
The building is set to open by the end of 2022, and contractors have been working safely throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to make sure the project comes in on schedule. The Royal Marsden is a world-leading cancer centre, specialising in cancer diagnosis, treatment, research and education.
The new facility, which is adjacent to The Royal Marsden in Sutton, will enable the hospital to tackle some of the most pressing challenges within cancer research and treatment today.
The Royal Marsden currently has more clinical trials for cancer open than anywhere else in the UK, and it will aim 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. 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 alike. 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.
- 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.
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 the 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.”
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