We are delighted to share with you some exciting news on the Radiotherapy Appeal.
As you know the appeal was launched in May 2015 with a target of £2.9 million to purchase key clinical equipment within a new radiotherapy centre. In December 2016 the £1 million mark was reached and on Christmas 2017 the appeal hit the £2 million mark. In December 2018 with your help and a recently successful Rotary International Global Grant of £175,000 we have hit our target of £2.9 million!
It’s been an incredible 3.5 years of fundraising for Brighter Futures that has seen thousands of local people across Swindon and surrounding communities come together and do some truly amazing things for the charity. Supporters have jumped out of planes, cycled across the UK, motored to Cyprus and Mongolia, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, taken on the London Marathon, Great North and South runs with many more holding bingo nights, baking cakes, hosting tea parties and much more. Together they have been united in the fight against cancer which has affected so many families in our local communities.
We have all done this because Swindon is one of the very few parts of the country without a radiotherapy service. The development of a local radiotherapy service for cancer patients diagnosed at Great Western Hospital will mean over 13,000 patient journeys for radiotherapy treatment will be significantly shorter every year.
The total project cost of creating a new Radiotherapy service at Great Western Hospital will be in the region of £18 million. The construction cost will be borne by Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH) through a loan secured from the Department of Health. Oxford has already invested over £1 million in enabling works for the centre. The future running expenses and costs of replacing equipment will be met by OUH and an agreement has already been reached with NHS England to ensure the centre’s future sustainability.
In May 2018 the Independent Trust Financing Facility, who give independent, professional advice to the Secretary of State at the Department of Health, recommended OUH for the loan. In late December the DHSC gave provisional approval for the loan.
After months of work between Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the Department of Health and Social Care, we are delighted to share the news today, Monday 1st July that the loan has now been approved.
Now that all funding has been secured, we are keen to ensure building work can begin as soon as possible and expect the first spade in the ground in spring 2020. We will of course plan a celebration for this momentous day and will invite you to share this milestone with us.
Once building work begins, we plan to install a webcam so that supporters can keep track of progress and see the structure taking shape.
Later next year, we will also be inviting supporters to learn more about the work as it progresses, with events including a linear accelerator blessing and the grand opening.
Thank you once again for your generous donations. The Radiotherapy Centre will be testament to the community spirit of Swindon and the surrounding communities!
Supporters who have events already planned for 2019 for the Radiotherapy Appeal will see the funds raised support the wider cancer improvements at Great Western Hospital.
Many people have asked what will happen to Brighter Futures after the Radiotherapy Appeal closes. Brighter Futures is the charity for Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust which includes Great Western Hospital and community health sites in Swindon. We will continue to help fund that extra special level of care in order to make a real difference to patients, their families and our staff who treat them, above what the NHS is able to provide.
The Radiotherapy Appeal was one of our appeals but we have many other appeals that help to improve the hospital environment, fund ground-breaking research, support the development and training of hospital staff and provide state-of-the-art equipment, which we are confident the local community will want to support going forwards.
For more information on the appeal and project click the links below:
The Radiotherapy Appeal Project
Plans for the service What is Radiotherapy
Julie Sue Fred