Former patient Rachel Smith opened the St Luke’s radiotherapy unit at East Surrey Hospital on Wednesday(3).
The Crawley resident said this new facility will give people living in the east Surrey and West Sussex the chance to have their treatment closer to home. Rachel was treated for breast cancer in 2012, starting her treatment in Guildford three days before her two sons broke up for their summer holidays.
Rachel said: “The radiotherapy made me extremely tired. It would have been so much easier to have had my treatment closer to home. I wouldn’t have had to get up so early and the travelling would have been less. This unit will make the ordeal so much easier for local patients.”
Royal Surrey County Hospital has worked in partnership with Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs East Surrey Hospital, to design, build and open the cutting edge cancer treatment unit. It is staffed by clinicians from St. Luke’s Cancer Centre, a leading specialist tertiary cancer centre at the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford.
Nick Moberly, Chief Executive at the Royal Surrey said: “We recognise that many of our patients have been travelling long distances, often on a daily basis, for treatment and are actively looking for ways to deliver these services more locally. Working with our partners at East Surrey Hospital, we’re proud to open this new state of the art radiotherapy unit and will continue to explore opportunities for similar initiatives.”
Michael Wilson, Trust Chief Executive, said: “This is good news for our patients who need radiotherapy as they can now have their treatment much closer to home. This brand new modern facility offers the best range of radiotherapy treatments currently available and means we can give the highest standard of care to people locally.”
The unit has two ultra-modern ‘True Beam’ Linear Accelerators (LINACs) which are able to deliver the most accurate and safest care. Radiotherapy patients have free parking at the unit which is staffed by highly specialist and experienced clinicians supported by the St. Luke’s Cancer Centre at the Royal Surrey County Hospital. They will also have access to a range of the latest clinical trials.