A new £10million cancer centre officially opened its doors today at the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton.
The Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre features a spacious chemotherapy lounge, relaxing garden area and a Macmillan information centre as well as complementary therapy, consultation and treatment rooms.
Yorkshire philanthropist Sir Robert Ogden has jointly funded the purpose-built facility in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support, providing a wealth of design expertise to help turn a vision into reality.
Sir Robert said: “I am delighted that the people of North Yorkshire now have a new cancer treatment centre. My wife and I are proud to have been closely involved with the design and funding of the project, and I am certain that the Friarage centre will prove to be as successful as the two centres that I funded earlier with Macmillan at St James’s Hospital Leeds and Harrogate District Hospital.”
South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has also contributed to the project by clearing the site and building a new car park, and providing clinical ideas and expertise.
The first staff and visitors to set foot in the centre have been amazed by the look and feel of the modern, state-of-the-art facility.
Alan Downey, chairman of South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are very excited to be able to provide such wonderful new facilities here at the Friarage and to expand the cancer services we provide to people in the local area. We hope this will become a hub for innovations in delivering high quality cancer care that is truly patient focused.”
Having treatment and support services under one roof means that patients no longer have to walk to different parts of the hospital. The centre will provide more than 4,500 chemotherapy treatments a year and more than 200 outpatient appointments a week.
Nicky Hand, lead cancer nurse at the Trust said: “It’s amazing because we can now treat more patients closer to home in this beautiful environment. The centre been created with a lot of input from our cancer patients. For example we have given patient choice when having chemotherapy by offering a range of seating options, including the option of occupying private space, all of which are accommodated within an environment that offers natural light and the ability to see the garden wherever you choose to sit.”
Building work began on the centre back in September 2017. Since then, more than 4,000 bricks have been laid and 400m2 of glazed curtain walling installed.
The new centre was officially opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony by Mr Downey, Lady Halifax, president of Macmillan Cancer Support and Sir Robert and Lady Ogden – who has been heavily involved with the building’s interior design and gardens.
Lady Halifax said: “This is the third Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre in Yorkshire and the second that I’ve had the privilege of opening. It is wonderful that partnerships such as this can happen as they show what a real difference we can all make to the lives of people living with cancer.
“As we move forward into a future where more people will get cancer and more people live with it, this centre will provide the people of Northallerton and its surrounding areas with a facility second to none. It is well equipped to meet demand, accommodate changes and advances in treatment while at the same time providing a beautiful and calming space where everyone is able to have conversations about all their emotional, practical and financial needs and concerns, so they can get the right support and live life as fully as they can.”
Siobhan McArdle, chief executive of South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are very proud to open this fantastic new centre at the Friarage, in partnership with Macmillan and Sir Robert and Lady Ogden. This new development demonstrates our long-term commitment to delivering clinically safe and sustainable services from the Friarage to the people of Hambleton, Richmondshire, Whitby and the surrounding area.”
Macmillan’s fundraising appeal towards its contribution to the project looks set to raise £500,000 by the end of the year.
Clara White, Macmillan area fundraising manager added: “We would like to thank the Northallerton community for really getting behind our appeal. There’s still time to get involved, call the Macmillan Support Care Hub on 0300 1000 200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.”