Work is set to begin on building a state-of-the-art cancer centre at Colchester Hospital, marking the start of a transformation in patient care in north Essex.
Construction of the purpose built centre, which will support patients through diagnosis and treatment, as well as their loved ones, is now imminent after planning permission for the £3.25million project was granted by Colchester Borough Council.
Nick Hulme, Chief Executive of East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, said:
“This first class cancer centre will care for everyone, regardless of cancer type, severity, or prognosis.
“It will provide a wide range of support and complementary services to help patients cope with diagnosis and treatments, as well as preparing people for life after cancer.
“We know people don’t want to come to hospital, but we want to make it as comfortable and stress free as possible.”
The announcement comes after a successful fundraising drive by Colchester and Ipswich Hospitals Charity raised £2.741million following the launch of the Cancer Centre Campaign in 2014.
The contemporary building will bring together chemotherapy, haematology and radiotherapy under one roof, alongside a wellness centre that will offer counselling and support services for patients and their families.
Kathryn Ramsey, Macmillan programme manager at Colchester Hospital, said:
“This will provide a combined oncology and haematology unit with an improved environment for patients receiving treatment due to the increase in size and facilities.
“We are extremely grateful for all the support from the public with the fundraising and have also worked closely with the Colchester Cancer Services User group to ensure the design of the new unit meets the needs of our patients.”
After making a generous £1million donation to the campaign, a donor who wishes to remain anonymous, was invited to name the new chemotherapy and haematology suite, which will be known as the Collingwood Centre.
The new cancer centre will be more modern, comfortable and welcoming, creating a significantly better experience for patients, their families and carers.
The hospital’s existing facilities in the Mary Barron Chemotherapy Suite and Haematology Day Unit are cramped with little space for friends and family to accompany loved ones and no space to expand.
Construction is due to get underway in January, with the centre expected to open by the end of 2019. West Mersea based Stroods Specialist Contractors will be carrying out the works.
Caroline Bates, the Trust charity’s head of fundraising, said: “We are absolutely delighted that we have reached the point where building can start and I am looking forward to completing the Cancer Centre Campaign with our fundraising for the wellness centre.”
Peter Wilson, chairman of the fundraising committee, said:
“Our thanks go out to all the people who have supported us. This unit, together with the radiotherapy building, will provide a centre of excellence for cancer treatment at Colchester.
“Our task is not yet complete – we still need to raise a further £250,000 to reach our goal of £3.25million, and with the continued generosity of local people we are confident this will be reached in the coming months.”
The remaining £250,000 will be used to build the wellness centre. If you would like to help, you can make a donation by visiting www.colchesteripswichcharity.org.uk/cancercentrecampaign/Back to top