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First patients treated at OUH Radiotherapy Centre @ Swindon

25/10/2022

Staff at the OUH Radiotherapy Centre @ Swindon are welcoming their first patients after opening the doors to the state-of-the-art centre on Tuesday 11 October 2022.

Run by Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and located on the Great Western Hospital site, the operational opening follows a ceremonial handover of the building in June 2022.

The centre, which received its Care Quality Commission (CQC) registration on 4 October 2022, was officially opened by two patients, Fred Bassett and Sandra McGlone.

Building work on site started in August 2020, and the topping out ceremony took place in October 2021.

The centre is an expansion of OUH's radiotherapy service, until now provided solely from the Churchill Hospital in Oxford.

OUH has invested £18.4 million in this project and local people donated £2.9 million towards the specialist equipment needed to provide radiotherapy in Swindon, through the charity Brighter Futures' Radiotherapy Appeal.

This new centre houses two state-of-the-art linear accelerators which are used for external beam radiotherapy and a specialist radiotherapy CT scanner amongst other equipment.

Jason Dorsett, Chief Finance Officer at OUH, said: "I am so pleased that our OUH Radiotherapy Centre at Swindon is now fully operational. This is the culmination of over six years of planning and hard work – and even longer for those campaigning for this for many years.

"The difference this new facility will make to local cancer patients and their families is so important. The reduction in travel time means less stress and anxiety and more time to do other things. This brings quality care closer to home for our patients, which reflects our Trust values of compassion and excellence."

Kevin McNamara, Chief Executive at Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: "I'm delighted that the very first patients have now been treated at the new Radiotherapy Centre here in Swindon.

"At a time when patients need us the most, the NHS will now be able to give them a better experience by sparing them the 70-mile daily journey to and from Oxford to receive this important treatment in a state-of-the-art facility much closer to home.

"This is a milestone in the delivery of care in Swindon and getting to this point is the end result of a lot of work by many people both at Great Western and Oxford University Hospitals, along with the incredible efforts of our community for supporting us and raising so much money for our Brighter Futures charity appeal."

Carol Scott, Radiotherapy Services Manager and Deputy Clinical Director for Oncology at OUH, said: "After a lot of preparation by a dedicated team of staff, we are very proud to be open and receiving patients into this new centre.

"We are confident that having local access to this vital treatment for the people of Swindon and the surrounding area will make a big difference to our patients. In this modern, spacious environment, we will be able to provide the support and care they need as they have their radiotherapy treatment.

"We are looking forward to working alongside our Great Western Hospital colleagues and becoming part of the wider healthcare community here."

Joanne Watts, Swindon Radiotherapy Operational Manager at OUH, said: "I have lived in Swindon all my life and have been a Therapeutic Radiographer for 19 years. I have always envisaged working locally treating cancer patients in my hometown, so I am thrilled to be the Operational Manager of the department.

"I have been involved from the start of construction through the setup of the department over the last 18 months so opening and treating the first patients is a huge milestone. It has been amazing talking to the patients who have told me just what it means to have their treatment locally and I am so proud to be a part of this."

Cat Weaver, Associate Director of Fundraising and Voluntary Services at Brighter Futures, said: "Following its opening, I am delighted that the first patients have started their treatment in the new radiotherapy centre. It is thanks to our local community and their support that over 13,000 patient journeys will be significantly shorter every year."