Cancer patients in Surrey and the South East are set to benefit from £6.2million plans to expand and modernise the region’s major cancer treatment centre at Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust.
The plans for the hospital’s St Luke’s Cancer Centre double the amount of clinical space to support the increasing demand for its cancer services. They also create welcoming, patient-focused spaces with more facilities and easy access between waiting areas, clinical rooms and patient services.
Royal Surrey is a nationally leading specialist centre with expertise in a wide range of cancers. St Luke’s Cancer Centre – the hospital’s unit for day patients receiving cancer treatment such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy – was built 25 years ago and much of the building remains unchanged despite a sharp increase in patient footfall. Demand for cancer care continues to grow as earlier cancer diagnosis opens up more treatment opportunities at earlier stages than has typically been possible in the past.
Sharadah Essapen, Chief of Service for Oncology and Consultant Oncologist, said:
“We provide an outstanding cancer service with some of the best patient outcomes in the country and we are excited to be improving the environment in which we treat our patients. The current unit opened in 1997 and the hospital now serves around 6,000 extra patients a year – a number we anticipate will keep growing. These plans will allow us to continue to meet the growing demand and, ultimately, save more lives.”
“Comfort, privacy and convenience for patients have been prioritised in these plans – we really have developed them with patients’ needs at the heart.”
As well as doubling the clinical space, the plans for St Luke’s Cancer Centre include:
- Lighter, brighter and more spacious entrances and waiting areas for outpatient services and radiotherapy.
- The St Luke’s café will be relocated within the centre and be larger.
- Larger, centrally located phlebotomy space, with easier access.
- Redesigned walkways to make it easier for patients to walk between treatment and appointment rooms, which will support a higher footfall of patients.
- More changing areas including walk-through changing facilities in the radiotherapy treatment area, so patients can go straight from the changing room into their appointment room, enhancing privacy and dignity.
- Additional bathroom facilities, to support the large increase in footfall since the unit opened 25 years ago.
- The Fountain Centre – which offers complementary therapies and emotional support to patients and their families – will be brought into the St Luke’s building, making it more accessible and integrated into the hospital’s cancer service.
During the build, the hospital’s cancer services will continue with no treatment delays or interruptions for patients and the hospital will continue to welcome visitors in line with visitor guidelines.
The project is being funded by hospital capital funds and donations from Royal Surrey Charity and cancer care provider GenesisCare UK.
Louise Stead, Chief Executive Officer, said:
“I’m immensely proud of the cancer service our dedicated staff provide and of our hospital’s commitment to continually innovating and investing to improve our patients’ care.
“This investment will make a real difference to people receiving cancer treatment in Surrey and the South East region. The plans put the patient first and will enhance the hospital experience for thousands of people each year who are going through one of the worst, if not the worst, time of their lives.”
Royal Surrey is a leading specialist cancer centre with expertise in a wide range of cancers. Its cancer service is integrated with all the services of an acute general hospital, meaning that cancer patients receive the full range of care needed in the one place, for example surgery, emergency care or ongoing cancer treatment.
It serves not only the population local to Royal Surrey but it is also a regional referral centre for the South East and, in some cases, nationally. In 2021 around 8,500 people were treated for cancer at St Luke’s.
Work on the centre is expected to begin in 2022 and last approximately 18 months.