Royal Surrey County Hospital and the Prostate Project are extremely disappointed to announce that the proposed development of a new urology centre has been postponed. The proposed Urology Centre is an outpatient, research and diagnostic facility that is going to cost £4million, of which £2.5million is to come from the Trust and the balance provided by the Prostate Project. Building work had been due to commence early this year.
Alf Turner, Deputy Chief Executive said: “The deteriorating financial position at Royal Surrey County Hospital has resulted in the difficult decision to postpone the building of the new urology centre. Unfortunately, the Trust does not have sufficient capital funds available to complete this ambitious project in the year ahead. It also comes as tighter capital controls are set to be introduced across the wider NHS.
“The Trust would formally like to apologise to the Prostate Project and to all those who have generously donated towards this project. I am sure you will understand that at this time we have to focus on securing the long term sustainability of Royal Surrey and the range of services it offers.”
“Royal Surrey offers leading urology cancer services to a population of up to 2 million people across Surrey, Hampshire and West Sussex. This is delivered by a team of highly skilled and widely respected clinicians who are committed to bringing the latest treatments to our patients. The treatment of urology patients remains an important part of the Trust’s strategic development and next month we will open a new £2.1 million theatre to house our state-of-the-art da Vinci robots, where one of the primary focuses will be the treatment of urological cancers.
“I would like to assure all of our patients that this decision will not in any way impact on the safety or the quality of care that they will receive. The work that would have taken place in this new facility is already being carried out within the hospital. However, the new centre would have provided a brand new dedicated and modern environment for our urology patients.
“The Trust values its long-standing collaborative relationship with the Prostate Project and is committed to ensuring it is preserved. We are working with the Prostate Project to explore how we can move forward. One option being considered would see the centre go ahead as planned, but after additional funding was sought through charitable donations to completely cover the build. Another alternative being explored would see an existing facility within the hospital, which has room for future expansion, redeveloped for a significantly lower sum.”
The Prostate Project’s Chairman, Colin Stokes MBE, said: “This is very disappointing news, not just for everyone in the Prostate Project and our many thousands of generous donors, but also for the men, women and children of Surrey and beyond who had so much to gain from this outstanding new Centre.
“Royal Surrey County Hospital’s future is inextricably linked with world-class cancer care. Despite all of its current problems, it will play an increasingly important role as one of the UK’s major cancer centres. The Urology Centre is a key part that future.
“The centre remains an opportunity to bring together a brilliant team of clinicians, scientists and technicians with a world-class research group in a purpose built, state-of-the-art building. It would enable a unique blend of talented professionals to perform in a purpose built centre that would have transformed the patient experience.
“Clinicians from the hospital and the University of Surrey’s oncology research team already work closely together and it would be great if they could continue their valuable research in a new state-of-the-art facility.
“Hopefully, this is only a temporary set-back. Our supporters can rest assured that the trustees will move heaven and earth to get this project back on track. We haven’t spent the last six years raising an astonishing £1.6m to give up now.
“Every possible option is being investigated including taking on the daunting task of raising all the money ourselves. That would mean finding another £2m. TV grandee Michal Buerk, one of our Patrons, is ready to lead the Rescue Appeal.
Professor Stephen Langley, Clinical Director of Urology said, “Whilst this is a set-back, we are very hopeful that our ambition to create dedicated state of the art Urology Centre will be realized to match the world class care we can offer our patients.”
“Please continue to help our appeal and anyone wishing to do so can contact Tim Sharp in our team on 07989 865702 or firstname.lastname@example.org”