Plans for a new cancer treatment centre at Bath’s Royal United Hospital (RUH) have been given the green light.
Work on the Dyson Cancer Centre project is expected to begin this year, with the new facility scheduled to open to patients in 2023.
RUH chief executive, James Scott, 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.”
Matron and cancer lead nurse, Caroline Gilleece, added: “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.”
The application to build the new cancer care facility was approved by Bath and North East Somerset Council last week.
The centre – built at the main entrance to the hospital – will bring the majority of the RUH’s cancer services, including research teams, under one roof.
At its heart will be a new wellbeing hub funded by Macmillan Cancer Support.
Maggie Crowe, the charity’s partnership manager, said: “I’m thrilled to hear we are now 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.”
Dedicated supporters, major donors and the public have backed the Forever Friends Appeal to the tune of nearly £10 million to deliver the new centre.
A key donor is the Dyson Foundation, which has been involved in discussions about the design and appearance of the new building.
Sir James and Lady Deirdre Dyson are patrons of the cancer care campaign and said they had been inspired by its ambition.
Rhyannon Boyd, the head of fundraising at 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.”
The centre will mark the final phase of the RUH’s current Fit for the Future estates redevelopment plan, which is transforming 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.
Stephen Sumner, Local Democracy Reporter