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Special guest visits site of new £9 million radiotherapy unit for Dorset

A special guest has helped officially mark the start of building work on the new radiotherapy unit at Dorset County Hospital.

Angus Campbell Esq, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Dorset was given a tour of the site today (05 April), at the start of the construction of the new building that will house the Robert White Radiotherapy Unit and the Cancer Outpatients Department when it opens its doors in 2018.

Special guest visits site of new £9 million radiotherapy unit for DorsetDorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Chair, Mark Addison and Steve Erskine, Incoming Chair, Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust were also on hand, along with senior managers and members of the joint project team to view progress on the works being carried out by Interserve, part of the international support services and construction group.

Angus Campbell said: “Today marks a significant step change in the provision of cancer services to the patients of West Dorset and it was my privilege to be able to personally see the work already carried out at the new site. 

“We know that our dedicated cancer teams offer world-class care to patients each and every day and this new building will mean that care will be given from world-class facilities too, which will make a huge difference.”

This building has been funded in part by an extraordinarily generous legacy from Poole businessman Robert White, which together with NHS funds secured by Poole Hospital will provide for two Linear Accelerator (LINAC) radiotherapy devices, at a combined investment of £7.4m. As part of this project, Dorset County Hospital Charity, supported by Fortuneswell Cancer Trust, is raising £1.75 million to build an outpatient department for all cancer patients above the new radiotherapy facility.

The Radiotherapy Unit will act as a satellite centre of the Dorset Cancer Centre and will significantly reduce the journey time that people in the North, South and West of the county currently face in travelling to Poole for vital radiotherapy treatment.

Dr. Mike Bayne, who treated Robert White and is Oncology Consultant at Poole Hospital, joined guests at today’s special ceremony. He said:

“It’s been great to be part of the official launch for the much-needed cancer centre. We have enjoyed a warm reception today from everyone here at Dorset County Hospital.

“I know Robert would have been delighted that his legacy is making such a huge difference. He was an extraordinary, humble man who I think would have been thrilled to see what his money has made possible. It has enabled us to all work together to create cancer services which will match the best in the world and to improve care for all our patients and their families battling cancer.”

It is estimated that each year around 5000 cancer patients and their families will benefit from the new Radiotherapy Unit and from the new Cancer Outpatients Department being funded by Dorset County Hospital Charity.

Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Longfleet Road, Poole, Dorset BH15 2JB. Tel: 01202 665511

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