Green Light for Hereford Radiotherapy Unit

29/02/12

A £7.7million radiotherapy unit at Hereford has been given the go-ahead by the Board of Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (GHNHSFT).

GHNHSFT will design, build, staff and manage the new facility.  The new radiotherapy unit, which is yet to be named, is due to open in mid 2013.  It will join the recently opened Macmillan Renton Chemotherapy Unit at the County Hospital, Hereford, in providing cancer services to the people of Herefordshire. 

The GHNHSFT Board approved the business case for the state-of-the-art development last week.  The key next steps are for the County Hospital to empty Dore Ward by the end of March 2012 in order to allow its demolition, and for legal agreements between the Trusts and partners to be finalised. Construction work is expected to start by the middle of the year.

The new unit will provide thousands of radiotherapy treatment sessions a year for the majority of patients. A small percentage of patients will still have to travel to Cheltenham for more specialised treatments and to gain the added benefit of the expertise from a centralised clinical team. All patients will travel to Cheltenham for their initial treatment planning session.

Chief Executive Dr Frank Harsent of GHNHSFT said: “We are delighted to be one step closer to providing this service for the benefit of patients and their families in Herefordshire.  This project has been the result of true teamwork between our Trust, Wye Valley NHS Trust, NHS Herefordshire and local people.”

Martin Woodford, Chief Executive of Wye Valley NHS Trust said: “This is a landmark development for Herefordshire which will bring to an end the ‘misery miles’ for patients who currently have to travel to Cheltenham for radiotherapy.  It is also a great example of collaborative working between NHS organisations and I look forward to the unit opening in the next 18 months.”