‘Major milestone’ for cancer patients in Dorset

The keys to the new £9 million radiotherapy building on the Dorset County Hospital site were handed over this month.

The new building, which will be named ‘The Robert White Treatment Centre’, has been funded in part by an extraordinarily generous legacy from Poole businessman Robert White, which together with NHS funds secured by Poole Hospital will provide a range of radiotherapy services on the site, using the latest Linear Accelerator (LINAC) device on the market. As part of this project, Dorset County Hospital Charity is funding an outpatient department for all cancer patients above the new radiotherapy facility.

The building acts as a satellite centre of the Dorset Cancer Centre, based at Poole Hospital,  and will significantly reduce the journey time that people in the North, South and West of the county currently face in travelling to Poole for vital radiotherapy treatment.

Karen Bew, Acting General Manager Oncology, Poole Hospital, received the key to the building on the 15th June from Simon Duck, Senior Site Manager, Interserve Construction Limited, who coordinated the build.

Karen said: “The handover of the building represents a major milestone for us in the provision of cancer services which will improve care for all our patients and their families battling cancer.”

“It’s also an important day to recognise the extraordinary generosity of Robert White who’s legacy has made such a huge difference by providing funds for this much-needed cancer centre.

“We are now in the final phase of the building work as we undertake the fitting and equipping of it before the building becomes operational later this year.”

Simon Duck said: “This has been a complex project but I am pleased with the way everything has gone, especially as the new facility will offer significant benefits to the local community in West Dorset for years to come. I would also like to thank the teams at both Poole and Dorset County Hospital who have made us so welcome and offer them best wishes for the future.”

Dorset County Hospital’s charity has been leading a campaign to raise £1.75 million to create a new outpatients area for cancer patients on the first floor of the building.

Simon Pearson, DCH Charity’s Head of Fundraising, said it was exciting to see the new facilities so close to completion: “We’ve had tremendous support from the community and staff to raise an incredible £1.65 million so far towards creating the new outpatient department and enhancing patient care. Now we need that final push to meet our target so we can fully fit out the outpatients department before we open to patients later in the year.”