Flying start for £1.3m city cancer suite appeal

Rob Coleman
Rob Coleman

TWO major donations were announced this week to kickstart a £1.3m appeal to ensure cancer patients at Weston Park Hospital receive the very latest treatments.

Westfield Health and Yorkshire Cancer Research are backing the campaign for research and treatment facilities.

A new suite on the first floor of the hospital will allow more clinical trials, focusing initially on breast, lung, kidney, prostate and skin cancers.

Prof Rob Coleman, Yorkshire Cancer Research Professor of Medical Oncology at Weston Park, said: “We will be able to offer more trials and more novel treatments to our patients. It will keep Weston Park Hospital as a world leader and give patients the opportunity to access the latest treatment at the earliest opportunity.”

The ‘Do Your Bit’ campaign was launched on Monday with an immediate pledge of £300,000 from Yorkshire Cancer Research and an initial £100,000 from Westfield Health, plus a commitment to match every cash gift to the campaign up to a total of £250,000.

The hospital treats patients across South Yorkshire, North Nottinghamshire, North Derbyshire and parts of North Lincolnshire and regional support is being sought for the appeal.

The new unit will bring together two chemotherapy treatment facilities, a new and bigger clinical trials area and a bigger day case service unit.

It will have specialist drug preparation areas, an en suite bedroom and 46 treatment chairs. There will also be a new reception area, four patient treatment areas, three counselling rooms, a two-bedded ward, two consulting rooms, offices, pharmacy preparation areas and a kitchen, all in what is being described as “a light, relaxed and homely atmosphere”.

The latest anti-cancer treatments and therapies will initially be part of a research programme, and then as NHS treatments.

One in five of the hospital’s patients –1,500 people a year – is put on a clinical trial by doctors, who work closely with the University of Sheffield on treatment options.

Rachel Thorpe, director of Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity, said: “We have called the campaign the ‘Do Your Bit’ campaign because every single donation, no matter how large or how small, will make a difference.

“This is our biggest fundraising campaign in more than a decade and we are asking people right across the region to help us reach that £1.3m.”