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Breast Unit Expansion Project Update

Following the huge support from the public, the Breast Unit Expansion build is now underway following delays caused by the pandemic.

Phase 1 – construction of the extension

The extension will sit between the existing Breast Unit and Radiology which means there is a need to ensure there are no adverse effects caused by vibration to the nearby PET-CT which could affect the quality of scans. Monitoring will continue until the end of the construction.

  • Contractor Site Set-up; which started 19th July, immediately after completion of the CT4 project
  • Foundations and Drainage are now complete
  • Colour and finishes schedule for walls, flooring, and furniture
  • Detailed Equipment Schedule

Phase 2 – Works within the existing building

Sequencing of the works is designed to enable the clinical team to continue seeing and treating patients during each sequence; detailed planning about to start for vacating and re-occupying each area in-turn.

  • Sequence 1: Install new mechanical and electrical services which will feed the new extension and roof-mounted air handling unit (until end of contract)
  • Sequence 2A: Redecorate walls in the Ultrasound Room
  • Sequence 2B: Demolitions and rebuilding works to form the new Treatment Room and Store Room;refurbishment of Examination Room 3
  • Sequence 3A: Refurbish Consulting Room 3 and redecorating a section of corridor
  • Sequence 3B: Refurbish Consulting Room 4 and Examination Room 4
  • Sequence 4: Refurbish Reception

Phase 3 – Garden

Erect hoarding around the Peace Garden space; develop the Courtyard Garden (to end of contract)

The Principal Contractor remains focused on both phase 1 and 2 works being practically completed by 8 December and the newly enlarged department commissioned and fully operational by 22nd December.

Behind the scenes

“My name is Karen & I am a Breast Cancer Support Worker. I work alongside the BreastNurses in the Breast Unit. I joined the RUH & the Breast team at the end of March 2020– right at the beginning of lockdown!

It is a really exciting time to be working in the Breast Unit with all the extension plans moving forward. For me, the most exciting part is that we will have our own treatment room, so I will be able to do nipple tattooing for the patients who require it, on a more regular basis. Currently, it is difficult to fit in this clinic, as we have to share the room with the consultants.

I would like to say a big ‘Thank you’ to you all for your kind donations. Without your generosity, we wouldn’t be able to extend our unit or provide a better environment for the patients who have to attend the Breast Unit.”

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Work gets underway on new Dyson Cancer Centre at the RUH

A groundbreaking event has marked the official start of construction work for the new Dyson Cancer Centre at the Royal United Hospitals’ (RUH) Combe Park site. The new Centre will provide a cancer services hub for half a million people in the South West.

Once complete, the Dyson Cancer Centre will bring together the majority of the RUH’s cancer services, including research, under one roof, providing oncology, chemotherapy and radiotherapy services and a 22-bed inpatient ward.

Cara Charles-Barks, Chief Executive of the RUH said: “It’s fantastic to see work get underway on this truly special building, which will make such a difference for our community. We’ve worked closely with patients, staff and those with an interest in cancer services to design the Dyson Cancer Centre. It will be a nurturing and therapeutic environment where our staff can continue to provide the highest quality care and our patients and their loved ones can receive all the support they need in one purpose designed building.”

Representatives of patients, staff and construction partner Kier as well as key fundraisers the Forever Friends Appeal and Macmillan Cancer were on site to mark the occasion.

Sir James Dyson paid a visit to the RUH earlier in the year, as demolition work to prepare the site for the new Centre drew to a close. Sir James and Deirdre Dyson have a strong connection to the RUH having welcomed two of their children, Sam and Jake, at the hospital. The James Dyson Foundation contributed £4m to the overall cost of the new Centre.

Sir James Dyson, Founder and Chief Engineer at Dyson said: “The Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care demonstrated the very significant effect that design and architecture can have on the recovery of patients. The bright, well designed spaces quickly proved their value to babies, something that we hope to replicate in the new Dyson Cancer Centre.

“Cancer is the most terrible of diseases, but by bringing cutting edge technology, design features, natural light and therapeutic green spaces, we hope this new building will support patients, families and staff through harrowing times.”

In addition to the generous donation from the Dyson Foundation, the RUH’s Forever Friends Appeal raised a further £6m. Rhyannon Boyd, Head of Fundraising said: “We are thrilled to see these works starting and we are extremely grateful to each and every one of the 8,500 supporters who have helped raise funds for the Dyson Cancer Centre, we couldn’t have done it without them.”

The new Centre will also include a specially designed Macmillan Wellbeing Hub. Richard Pugh, Macmillan Cancer Head of Partnerships Wales & South West said: “The Hub will be a non-clinical, calming space, offering practical and emotional support to people living with cancer. It will be there for everyone – from people with cancer to their carers and their families. It will help them every step of the way through cancer from diagnosis, during treatment, in recovery, and at the end of life.”

The remainder of the funding for the Dyson Cancer Centre will be provided by the government.

Health Minister Jo Churchill said: “Delivering cancer care is, and has been a top priority, throughout the pandemic and we remain committed to delivering on our NHS Long Term Plan to save 55,000 more lives from cancer every year by 2028.

“I’m delighted work is beginning on this new cancer facility at the RUH which draws together services and includes a Macmillan Wellbeing Hub, improving NHS cancer services for half a million patients in the South West for many years to come.

“The centre is part of the biggest hospital building programme in a generation, which we’re funding to deliver 40 new hospitals by 2030.”

The groundbreaking event marked the next major milestone in a significant programme of work to transform services and facilities located on the older, northern part of the RUH’s site. The Trust is once again working with construction partner Kier who have played a significant role in the changing face of the RUH.

David Snell, Strategic Healthcare Director at Kier Regional Building Western & Wales said:

“We are delighted to continue our work with the RUH, who we have worked with since 2013. Over that time we have worked closely with the Trust on the phased redevelopment of the hospital, including delivering the William Herschel building – a new modern pathology lab and mortuary, the Forbes Fraser Pharmacy and the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD) and Brownsword Therapies Centre which opened in September 2019.

The groundbreaking date also marked 10 years to the day since another outstanding facility opened at the RUH, the Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care, part funded by the James Dyson Foundation.

Since opening, the award-winning neonatal centre has cared for around 500 babies and families a year, in surroundings that provide a beneficial healing environment for babies and reduce stress levels experienced by their parents. The difference has been demonstrated by the research undertaken comparing the old and new units.

After seeing the success this considered architecture had on medical care, James Dyson was motivated to support RUH with this approach for cancer services. Hear from Sir James and RUH staff following the James Dyson Foundation’s visit to RUH earlier this year here.

Those interested in the new Dyson Cancer Centre can find out more at a virtual event on Wednesday 28 July where there will be the opportunity to hear from some of the team involved in the project and have any questions answered. Email: ruh-tr.capitalprojects@nhs.net if you would like to attend.

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Forever Friends Appeal reaches £10m Dyson Cancer Centre funding target

The Forever Friends Appeal is celebrating reaching its £10m funding target towards supporting the much-anticipated Dyson Cancer Centre at the Royal United Hospitals Bath
NHS Foundation Trust (RUH).

Thanks to the kindness and compassion of thousands of supporters, this milestone achievement comes just as demolition work to clear the way for the new Centre draws to a close at the RUH’s Combe Park site, ahead of construction work starting in summer 2021. Cara Charles Barks, Chief Executive of the RUH said, “Thank you to our local community for being so kind, committed and generous with your time, as well as your giving. This amount is a significant contribution towards the overall cost of the new Centre, and this incredible achievement will help transform the care we provide for patients, families and carers.”

Like the award-winning Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care, the Dyson Cancer Centre has been designed with input from patients and staff to offer an exceptional facility with a therapeutic environment.

RUH Cancer Lead Nurse, Caroline Gilleece, said: “Thank you to everyone that has joined us in raising funds so that we can create something very special, above and beyond what the NHS alone could have provided.”

Rhyannon Boyd, Head of Fundraising at the hospital charity said: “We’re extremely grateful to the patients, families, supporters and NHS staff who’ve contributed – by donating, walking, running, baking and much more. It’s an outstanding achievement and we’re very proud of everyone that has been part of this. We will continue to raise funds for cancer services at the RUH through our charity activities to help patients receive the best possible care.”

The Dyson Cancer Centre will bring the majority of cancer services, including research, under one roof, providing oncology, chemotherapy and radiotherapy services and a 22-bed inpatient ward. We are working with the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England & Improvement team on overall timescales so that the hospital can open for patients as early as possible, currently scheduled for autumn 2023.

Cancer charity Macmillan Cancer Support has invested an additional £1.5 million into the Dyson Cancer Centre to fund a purpose-built patient support centre at its heart.

The Macmillan Wellbeing Hub will offer advice and support to patients and their families at every step of their cancer journey. You can find out more about the Macmillan Wellbeing Hub, or make a donation here www.macmillan.org.uk/macmillanwellbeinghub Newly-decorated hoardings on the RUH site will screen busy construction work from patients, staff and visitors, but a dedicated webcam will be set up so you can keep an eye on how the project is progressing online at www.ruh.nhs.uk/DysonCancerCentre The remainder of the funding for the Dyson Cancer Centre will be provided by the government as part of the commitment to build 40 new hospitals across the country by 2030, as part of the biggest hospital building programme in a generation.

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Lifesaving equipment provides new service for patients at the RUH

The Forever Friends Appeal, the official NHS charity for the Royal United Hospitals Bath, with the support of the community have been able to purchase medical equipment that will introduce a brand new service to the hospital.

The portable equipment commonly known as a FEES machine, (Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing) will be used by the Speech and Language Therapists to test, assess and provide rapid diagnosis and treatment to patients with swallowing difficulties at their bedside. This will replace the existing service provided by the hospital’s X-Ray department, thus alleviating the movement and transportation of some of our most vulnerable patients.

With the help of a tiny camera, the team of therapists using the FEES at the patient’s bedside will be able to view the mouth and throat and evaluate whether food or liquid is escaping into the patient’s airway and treat immediately, reducing the risk of infection and the need for feeding tubes. Patients who have been affected by a Stroke, Parkinson’s, Cancer, or even COVID-19 along with many other illnesses will benefit from the FEES machine.

Richard Gyde, Deputy Head of Fundraising, The Forever Friends Appeal said: “This equipment is currently only available at a small number of trusts and thanks to charitable support, this service can now be rolled out across the hospital enhancing the service our therapists can provide.

“On behalf of the charity, I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported this Appeal through donations, participating in the Big Give Christmas Challenge, our Local Solicitors who generously donated their fees and time in support of RUH Will Month, and the generous charitable support from The Friends of the RUH which helped us complete the Appeal.

Catherine Crawley, Clinical Specialist Speech and Language Therapist – Neuro-trauma said: “The Speech & Language team are overwhelmed by the delivery of the new machine and we are excited to be able to provide a first class service that gives rapid assessments at our patients’ bedside, enabling us to give a much quicker diagnosis and treatment.

“We plan to train more staff and roll the service out to assess patients across the hospital including those in Critical Care – our most vulnerable patients.  We will be looking forward to updating you all on the impact of this equipment, the service it provides and the ways in which it has improved patient care.

“On behalf of my team I would like to thank you everyone who has donated and been part of the fundraising efforts.”

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Two wheels for our NHS heroes

Thirty brand new bikes arrived today (Friday 1 May) at the Royal United Hospitals Bath as a special gift for our NHS heroes. The bikes were donated by BW Cycling, a Bristol-based company that wanted to help staff get to work during the coronavirus pandemic.

They will make a huge difference to staff who have been struggling to get to work on public transport because of reduced services and social distancing guidelines. The Trust organised a free draw and invited colleagues who would benefit of having a bike and the lucky winners were selected at random.

Andy Wadsworth, Co-owner of BW Cycling said:

“We are a small privately owned bike shop which can’t make ventilators or PPE but we have bikes to make transport easier. When we heard stories of frontline NHS staff working long shifts with some walking for over an hour to get to work and back because of reduced public transport and being unable to get a lift share, we thought we could help.

“We are very fortunate to have strong client relationships with local companies and Creo Medical has been very supportive in helping fund 100 bikes for NHS staff.  We’ve donated 50 bikes to RUH staff, the remaining 20 will be delivered next week and donated another 50 to staff at Southmead. It’s been a bit challenging with the logistics and social distancing but we’ve done it, much easier in comparison to what many NHS staff are having to deal with on a daily basis.”

As well as donating the bikes, the lucky winners also received a helmet, lights and a bike lock to ensure they can cycle safely.

Ben Ellis was entered into the draw by his colleagues Ashleigh Farmer and Zoe Lockton who work with him in the Emergency Department. When he found out he was a winner, he said: “Winning a bike was a big surprise as I did not know about the offer. I feel very privileged and look forward to being able to ride to work.”

Another winner, Jo Smith, Clinical Dietitian who lives in Southstoke said: “This will certainly help my journey to work – it’s either over an hour’s walk or try and catch two buses!”

The Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust would like to thank all businesses for their continued support of our staff and patients during this challenging time. Any businesses looking to make a donation should contact the hospital’s charity The Forever Friends Appeal by email: forever.friends@nhs.net before making any deliveries.

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Ed Jackson climbs Mount Everest…at home

Inspired by Captain Tom Moore who has raised millions for NHS Charities Together, Ed Jackson, former professional rugby player has set out to raise £10,000 for our charity and two others by climbing the equivalent of Mount Everest on his parents’ staircase.

We are in awe of what he’s set out to do and we wish him the best of luck with this challenge as we know Ed well. He was cared for at the RUH three years ago following an accident which left him with a broken neck. At the time he was told that he may not walk again, but after a gruelling recovery and rehabilitation at three different hospitals including the RUH, he made an amazing recovery and became one of our Therapies Matters ambassadors.

Ed said: “I managed to ditch the walker two years ago and despite my disability I have developed a weird obsession with climbing and I hope to be the first quadriplegic to climb Mount Everest. Obviously I can’t get to the mountains but I’ve decided to bring one here. I’m not really sure how much I’ve bitten off but those of you who have seen any of my climbing blogs before will know that thanks to my disability stairs are my nemesis.”

During the four day challenge, which started today (Tuesday 21 April), Ed will wear of the kit that he will take with him when he is able to travel to the Himalayas and will walk up and down the staircase 2,783 times, that’s 89,000 sets of individual steps.

Ed continued: “The money raised will be shared with The Forever Friends Appeal in support of the NHS. The incredible people of the NHS saved my life and got me back on my feet three years ago and now they’re making that difference for many more.

“Any donation no matter how small is massively appreciated because all of our charities need support at the moment and I hope together we can raise enough to make a real difference for these three.”

The other two charities that are close to Ed’s heart and will also receive a share of the funds are Wings for Life Spinal Cord Research Foundation and the Neverest Orthopaedics Foundation.

Ed hopes to finish the challenge around 6pm on Friday 24 April and we’ll be there to help him complete the last few flights of stairs.

If you would like to show your support to Ed, donations can be made at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/edjackson8

You can stay up to date with Ed’s progress by following him on Twitter and on Instagram.


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RUH granted planning permission for new Dyson Cancer Centre

We are delighted to hear that The Royal United Hospitals (RUH) Bath NHS Foundation Trust has been granted full planning permission for construction of the new Dyson Cancer Centre.

James Scott, RUH Chief Executive said: “On behalf of the community we serve, we’re delighted to reach this significant milestone. Our new world-class Centre will help transform the care we provide for patients, families and carers and provide a nurturing and therapeutic environment, reducing stress and anxiety and promoting health.

“It’s taken a huge amount of planning and preparation, working with staff and patients and our partners to get to this point.”

Scheduled to open for patients in 2023, the new Centre will be located next to the main entrance of the RUH and will bring the majority of the RUH’s cancer services, including research teams, under one roof.

Caroline Gilleece, RUH Matron and Cancer Lead Nurse said: “We are really excited by what the future holds. This will be more than just a building, it will be a therapeutic environment centred on patient care and experience, which will  also provide a fantastic place to work, so we can retain our dedicated staff and attract the very best to join us.”

Rhyannon Boyd, Head of Fundraising, The Forever Friends Appeal said: “We are delighted that the planning has been approved. It’s truly special in its design and facilities and we would like to take this opportunity to thank people for showing their support for our RUH Cancer Care Campaign.”

Cancer charity Macmillan Cancer Support is investing £1.5million to create a new patient support centre called the Macmillan Wellbeing Hub which will be at the heart of the Dyson Cancer Centre.

Maggie Crowe, Macmillan Partnership Manager said: “I’m thrilled to hear we are now are one step closer to opening the doors of our new purpose-built Macmillan Wellbeing Hub. It will be a sanctuary for patients and their families inside the Dyson Cancer Centre. It will offer vital support as they go through treatment including counselling, a complementary therapy suite and overnight accommodation so that families can stay close to their loved ones.”

Work will start on site in 2020 to demolish the old Therapies block, clearing the way for construction to start on the new Dyson Cancer Centre in early 2021.  The Centre will mark the final phase of the RUH’s current Fit for the Future estates redevelopment plan, to transform the northern part of the hospital site.

In the last decade the RUH has invested heavily in its estate and infrastructure and delivered a range of new facilities, including the award winning Dyson Neonatal Care Unit, a new pharmacy at the heart of the hospital and the recent RNHRD and Brownsword Therapies Centre.

Further demolition and landscaping work to create a ‘green heart’, a purpose designed garden area for the hospital, will take place once the Dyson Cancer Centre is open.

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The Forever Friends Appeal launches ‘Help your hospital heroes’ appeal

Help your hospital heroes

Please help raise funds to support the Royal United Hospitals Bath and its staff during the coronavirus crisis.

Please help us to raise funds to support the Royal United Hospitals (RUH) Bath and our inspiring NHS staff during the coronavirus crisis.

Our hospital is under increased and immense pressure at this extraordinary time. Care for all RUH patients has to continue and staff are going above and beyond to make sure it does.

We are all being asked to stay indoors, work from home, or maintain ‘social distance’ from our friends and family but our amazing NHS staff can’t. They have to be there for us all and some now won’t see their own families for weeks to protect patients and their own loved ones from the outbreak of the virus.

As the hospital’s charity, The Forever Friends Appeal is asking for your help to support the hospital and its heroes.

John Cullum, Chair of The Forever Friends Appeal, says “We want to say thank you to all the NHS staff who are on the frontline right now. We will owe you for everything you do and all that you give so selflessly for our care.”

Unfortunately, due to infection control restrictions, the hospital cannot accept gifted items from the general public. Instead, please consider making a donation online and the hospital will direct all contributions to where the help is needed most.

James Scott CEO, said: “It is heart-warming to see all the support and acts of kindness already flooding in for our NHS staff in Bath. To everyone that has already contributed – thank you, and to those of you thinking of making a gift, we really value your help in these uncertain times.

To donate and support your local NHS and hospital heroes, please visit www.foreverfriendsappeal.co.uk/hospital-heroes


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New appeal launched on Swallowing Awareness Day

A new fundraising appeal has launched at the Royal United Hospitals Bath to coincide with national Swallowing Awareness Day.

The Forever Friends Appeal wants to raise £50,000 to purchase a portable machine to enhance the care given to patients who have swallowing difficulties.

By funding this piece of kit it will enable speech and language therapists to provide an alternative bedside assessment – reducing the waiting time to attend the x-ray clinic which can sometimes be several weeks and is the only option at present.

Catherine Cawley, Clinical Specialist and Speech and Language Therapist, RUH said:

“Being able to eat and drink without a second thought is something most of us take for granted. But sadly many people have problems swallowing as a result of conditions such as having a stroke, Parkinson’s disease and dementia. It is a serious issue as it can cause coughing and choking when you eat and drink, which can lead to chest infections, increased hospital admission and lengthier stays in hospital.

“This is why we are delighted to have the support from our charity on Swallowing Awareness Day –giving us the perfect platform to talk about this issue and the opportunity to promote this appeal.

“Having this machine will be a game changer – we will be able to give our patients a quicker diagnosis, recommend treatment and reduce the possibility of further medical complications.”

Only a small number of hospital trusts have this type of portable machine which uses fibreoptic technology to help the Speech and Language Therapist assess a patient’s mouth, throat and swallow. Once the machine is purchased, the speech and language therapy team will look to roll the service out to assess patients across the hospital.

Rhyannon Boyd, Head of Fundraising, The Forever Friends Appeal said:

“This appeal is an opportunity to give patients with swallowing difficulties the highest standard of care and ultimately help improve their quality of life. We are inviting the public to show their support by helping us raise the amount needed so we can make a real difference to our patients.”

There are many ways that people can get involved and show their support for this appeal – from making a donation online, taking part in one of the charity’s events, fundraising at work or in your local community or by leaving a gift in your will.

For more information about the speech and language therapy appeal click here

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HRH The Duchess of Cornwall officially opens the new RNHRD and Brownsword Therapies Centre

Staff, patients and guests celebrated the official opening today (Tuesday 22 October) by Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall, of the new RNHRD and Brownsword Therapies Centre at the RUH.

The Duchess, President of the Royal Osteoporosis Society and Patron of Versus Arthritis, was given a guided tour of the new £20m purpose-built Centre and shown some of its facilities, including the hydrotherapy pool, specialist treatment areas and physiotherapy gyms.

James Scott, Chief Executive of the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We were delighted to welcome Her Royal Highness here again. She has a long association with the Trust as well as being a former patron of the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases. The Duchess is a great supporter of our work and we were very proud to show her the wonderful new facilities we have created here.”

The Duchess was accompanied on her visit by Trust Chair Alison Ryan.  She was introduced to local entrepreneurs Andrew and Christina Brownsword, whose £1m Match Funding Challenge has enabled the hospital charity, The Forever Friends Appeal, to raise  £2m towards the overall cost of the new Centre, with every donation doubled by the Brownsword scheme.

The RNHRD and Brownsword Therapies  Centre brings together therapies and pain services located at the RUH with many of the services previously  located at the RNHRD’s Mineral Water Hospital site, known locally as the ‘Min.’

Uniting staff and services together on one site has been many years in the planning, and the RUH has worked closely with patients and staff to design the best new home for services relocating from the Min.

The Duchess also attended a reception to celebrate the 20th anniversary of The Forever Friends Appeal and its raising of over £25m for patient services at the RUH.  She met with donors and volunteers and unveiled plaques to mark the event and officially open the new Centre.

During the reception The Duchess said: “As a past patron of the Min it’s lovely to be able to come here and see what has been done for the new Centre. I’m incredibly impressed by everything – the hydrotherapy pool looked extremely tempting! There seem to be a lot of very happy patients and it has a very welcoming atmosphere. I know that all of you here do so much to raise money for this hospital…so thank you for contributing to this wonderful new building.”

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