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News & Media

Media Release

Date: 22 April 2024

New Dyson Cancer Centre at the RUH welcomes first patients

The new Dyson Cancer Centre at the Royal United Hospitals Bath (RUH) NHS Foundation Trust welcomes its first patients this week.

Aerial photograph of the Dyson Cancer Centre

The purpose built centre brings together many of the RUH's cancer services under one roof to provide a cancer services hub for over 500,000 people in the South West.

Cara Charles-Barks, RUH Chief Executive said: "This is a major milestone for our community – we know cancer affects many lives and this new centre will help transform the care we provide for the people we care for and their loved ones, as well as providing an exceptional working environment for our dedicated staff.

"Together with patients, staff and those with an interest in cancer services we've looked at every aspect of the care we provide and the surroundings we provide it in. We've worked to create a place where excellent clinical care is matched by a healing environment.

"Thoughtful interior design, the use of natural light and over 100 artworks and art installations - many of which are influenced by the local environment - create a soothing and welcoming space, to balance the high tech facilities housed in the new centre. We're grateful to everyone who has helped us create this amazing building which will benefit so many."

The Dyson Cancer Centre includes the RUH's oncology, chemotherapy and radiotherapy services, a 22-bed inpatient ward, a dedicated pharmacy, research team and nuclear medicine and physics teams.

Ali Underhill, aged 45, from Bath, who is currently using cancer services at the RUH said: "Being diagnosed again at 43 was tough. My cancer can't be removed by surgery so I'm reliant on systemic drug options to keep the cancer at bay. The oncology department is my literal lifeline and I'm there most weeks as my treatment is quite dose dense.

"The new centre for me represents a fresh new environment to continue my treatment for as long as possible.

"Having spent time as an inpatient on William Budd ward and as a 'frequent flyer' for the chemo unit and day unit, I know how much this facility is needed for the RUH to continue delivering the highest standard of care.

"The staff do an amazing job and will now have modern facilities and a much better layout than the current building. The new building is also more accessible and as someone who has mobility needs I can't wait!"

The new centre is backed by over £40m in Government funding as part of the New Hospital Programme. Morag Stuart, Chief Programme Officer, New Hospital Programme said: "The opening of the Dyson Cancer Centre is a major milestone for the New Hospital Programme, the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust and, most important, for the population of Bath and beyond. This is a perfect example of new services being funded, designed and constructed in collaboration and will improve the lives of so many."

The Dyson Cancer Centre was also supported by an additional £10m fundraising campaign from RUHX, the hospital's official charity, including a £4m donation from the James Dyson Foundation and £1m by the Medlock Charitable Trust.

Rhyannon Boyd, Head of RUHX said: "We are so proud of and grateful to all of our wonderful supporters who helped create this transformational new centre for their community, for today and in the future. Over 11,000 amazing donors raised ten million pounds to make the Dyson Cancer Centre extra-extraordinary.

"This new facility couldn't have been created to offer this extraordinary environment for cancer care and treatment without all of these generous supporters in our local community, who donated to help care for their friends and loved ones."

Sir James Dyson and Lady Deirdre Dyson paid a visit to the new centre just as it was nearing completion. The Dysons have a strong connection to the RUH having welcomed two of their children at the hospital. The James Dyson Foundation previously supported the construction of the award winning Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care at the RUH with donations, design work and research. Following the success of the unit, the Foundation donated an additional £4m towards the RUH's most ambitious project yet – a new cancer centre.

After visiting the Dyson Cancer Centre, James Dyson, Founder and Chief Engineer, said: "Both of my parents died far too young from cancer, so I've always tried to support causes that involve treating or researching this terrible disease.

"Bath and the South West desperately needed a new cancer hospital to serve 500,000 people and carry out cutting-edge research – and I was pleased we could continue helping the RUH, after the success of the Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care.

"The Dyson Cancer Centre has state-of-the-art equipment, such as CT gamma scanners, which allow patients to have two specialist scans at the same time. It will also be home to vital research programmes in nuclear medicine and medical physics, and more than 60 live clinical trials – all under one roof.

"In a way, I hope no one has to come to it. But if they do, I hope the Dyson Cancer Centre will be an uplifting place – one filled with light, art, space and views of nature – for patients and their families, as well as the hospital staff who care for them."

A key feature of the new centre is the Macmillan Wellbeing Hub, supported by a £1.5m donation from Macmillan Cancer Support. The three storey hub will provide a welcoming, non-clinical space designed around the needs of patients and their families. It will also include comfortable accommodation where relatives and loved ones can stay overnight.

Megan Inett, Partnership Manager at Macmillan Cancer Support said: "Being diagnosed with cancer can affect so many different areas of your life, from relationships to finances. With counselling rooms, complementary therapy space and cancer information, the new Macmillan Wellbeing Hub will support people with all those non-clinical needs, enabling them to live well with cancer, not just survive."

Construction partner Kier broke ground on the Dyson Cancer Centre in July 2021 and have managed a complex project within the constraints of a busy hospital site. Patients, staff and visitors have been able to watch the progress of the new building. From demolition of the old therapies building and extensive ground works which uncovered ammonite fossils from 250 million years ago, through to the three storey building emerging from behind the hoardings, Kier have been a familiar presence at the RUH over the last three years.

David Snell, Strategic Healthcare Director at Kier Construction Western & Wales, said: "The Dyson Cancer Centre is a vital new healthcare facility that will serve the South West for many years to come.

"This project means a great deal to everyone involved and we are incredibly proud to be handing it over and to be continuing our legacy of delivering state-of-the art healthcare facilities that make a tangible difference in people's lives."

The new Dyson Cancer Centre is located near the main entrance of the RUH and has its own entrance – patients and visitors do not need to enter the main RUH building. The Macmillan Wellbeing Hub will be open from 8am – 6pm and patients, loved ones and the wider community are welcome to drop in for information during these times. Face to face appointments along with specific support services can be booked in advance.


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