We are delighted to share with you the much anticipated news that the main construction of the Radiotherapy Centre at Great Western Hospital will begin on site on 3rd August 2020.
The contractor, John Sisk and Sons, expect the build to be completed by the end of 2021 with patients beginning treatment in Swindon soon after this.
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 successful Rotary International Global Grant of £175,000 we hit our target of £2.9 million!
It was 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 we 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 on the 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 2018 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, on 1st July 2019, we were delighted to hear that the loan had been approved and construction would begin in Spring 2020.
As you know, nothing about 2020 has gone as we expected due to the Covid-19 Pandemic and although the number of Covid-19 admissions has dropped significantly it’s important we remember that coronavirus remains present in our community and timescales may need to be revised should a second wave become apparent.
Whilst we had envisaged marking this poignant moment by bringing our supporters together on site for a celebration, unfortunately due to the current restrictions relating to Covid-19 this will not be possible.
Once building work begins, we plan to install a webcam so that you can keep track of progress and see the structure taking shape.
We will of course keep you updated with the key milestones of the build and as soon as time allows we will all come together to celebrate.
Thank you once again for your generous donations. The Radiotherapy Centre will be testament to the community spirit of Swindon and the surrounding communities!
For more information on what Radiotherapy is and some patient stories who received treatment, please click on the links below:
What is Radiotherapy
Julie Sue Fred