Tuesday 9th May 2017 marked the official opening of Altnagelvin Hospital's North West Cancer Centre by The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.
The £50 million facility implemented a phased opening plan, initially treating a small number of prostate cancer patients in late 2016 and gradually increasing the number of patients and types of cancer being treated until the official opening.
As well as an expansion of the hospital’s existing chemotherapy service, the new centre offers 3 linear accelerators; the machines used for administering radiotherapy, alongside a CT simulator, CT scanner and 27 inpatient beds. Elaine Way, chief executive of the Western Trust said she believed the new facility was an “outstanding new development” for the people of the North West and surrounding areas.
Over half a million people requiring cancer treatment are expected to benefit from the new state of the art facility which offers cross-border therapy to patients within the Western Trust area, the northern part of the Northern Trust and Co. Donegal in a link-up between health authorities in the North and South of Ireland. At present, cancer patients in Derry/Londonderry can face a 200-mile round trip to access cancer treatment in Belfast. The new centre offers these patients treatment without lengthy travel times, a benefit which may significantly impact on the day to day lives of both the patients themselves as well as their carers/relatives
O4 Research is hopeful that the opening of Altnagelvin’s cancer centre will afford greater opportunities for patients based in the North West to participate in cancer clinical trials in the near future!