Staff at the Royal United Hospital (RUH) in Bath were delighted to welcome Sir James and Lady Deirdre Dyson this afternoon (4pm, Friday 12th June 2015) to celebrate a key milestone in the hospital’s redevelopment programme which will lead to a pioneering new Cancer Centre opening at the RUH.
The James Dyson Foundation generously donated £4 million in 2013 to the hospital’s charity – The Forever Friends Appeal – to help drive their Cancer Care Campaign. As leading donors and also Patrons of the Campaign, Sir James and Lady Deirdre Dyson were at the RUH today for the start of demolition work on the North side of the hospital site where the new Cancer Centre will be built following a sequential demolition and redevelopment programme.
The redevelopment programme is designed to relocate facilities without disrupting services and patient care whilst building projects are underway. A new Pharmacy and a new Combined Therapies centre will be built first in order to free up the space required to build the new £27 million Cancer Centre.
The RUH Cancer Care Campaign is raising £8.5 million towards the cost of this exceptional new facility for all those affected by cancer in the hospital’s South West catchment area. With a sensitive design and state-of-the-art technology, the new Cancer Centre will support the hospital’s bespoke and holistic approach to care for patients and their families. The new therapeutic building is being thoughtfully designed to promote health and wellbeing, reduce stress and anxiety and ultimately enhance the long-term survivorship of those patients with cancer.
Sir James and Lady Dyson were inspired to support the Cancer Care Campaign after being impressed by the design and success of the recently built Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care at the RUH and which has shown the huge impact that a healing environment can have on the recovery and development of premature babies.
Sir James and Lady Deirdre Dyson donated £600,000 towards the new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the hospital, which opened in 2011. A holistic approach to care for tiny patients and their families has achieved extremely positive results and actively provides a model for the future of neonatal care in the UK and beyond.
The RUH now believes it will be building the very best Cancer Centre for a District General Hospital, and it is expected that the new Centre will also provide a model for the provision of cancer care throughout the UK.
Emma De Winton, lead Oncologist at the RUH says: “The hospital’s vision is to build a Cancer Centre which will complement our clinical expertise with the provision of a nurturing and therapeutic environment. Each year the RUH cares for 2,200 new patients with cancer. The clinical care is amongst the best in the UK, but the old buildings currently housing the Cancer Unit date back to the 1940s. They are uncomfortable, inefficient and do not currently provide patients with what we feel is the positive environment necessary to help promote patient recovery.”
The new Centre will include state-of-the-art medical equipment, dedicated research facilities, as well as art and pastoral gardens for patients and their families. There will be a dedicated Patient Wellbeing, Information, and Support Centre and an encouraged sense of community integrated with patient privacy and comfort.
The new RUH Cancer Centre will be a partnership between NHS and charitable funding sources. The project will be underpinned by funding from The Forever Friends Appeal and its £8.5 million Cancer Care Campaign.
Sir James Dyson says: “More than one in two people will develop cancer at some point in their lives and all of us will know someone suffering from this terrible disease. The new Cancer Centre is a unique opportunity to give up-to-the-minute care in a welcoming environment. It’s a project that thousands of people in the Bath area will benefit from – and a cause that I am passionate about.”
John Cullum, Chairman of The Forever Friends Appeal, says: “We are extremely grateful for the Dysons’ ongoing kindness and generosity towards supporting the RUH and Appeal fundraising as Patrons of the Cancer Care Campaign. We are now working on raising the last £1.9m of the campaign to reach the £8.5m target and welcome the continued support of the public in helping us to achieve this over the next two years.”
James Scott, RUH Chief Executive says: “The vision of the new Cancer Centre is to provide a therapeutic environment that is centred on patient care and experience, reducing stress and anxiety and promoting health. There is a real opportunity to build a Cancer Centre that provides the best possible support for patients, designed around the patient pathway from first diagnosis through to survivorship, remission or even end of life care. This vision will make the RUH’s cancer accommodation distinctive, integrating the healing environment into one site and services in a way that no other local trust has achieved at present.”