A new £14m specialist cancer centre opened today (5 November) in Chelmsford, bringing state of the art cancer treatment to Essex and the wider region.
The Spire Specialist Care Centre is located at the Essex Healthcare Park in West Hanningfield Road. It’s the second such centre to be opened by Spire Healthcare, one of the UK’s leading independent hospital groups. The other opened in Bristol last year.
The centre boasts two linear accelerators, which direct high energy beams to conform to a tumour’s shape and destroy cancer cells while sparing surrounding normal tissue. Special additions include a 6D robotic couch and a wide-bore CT scanner equipped with 4D imaging capabilities.
The UK has fewer linear accelerators per head of population than France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy and Belgium.
The development means a significant increase to the private provision of linear accelerators, which currently stands at only 20 machines nationwide outside London.
“This equipment will enable clinicians to provide highly targeted radiotherapy, which means much greater precision for patients as healthy tissue surrounding tumours can be preserved,” said Rob Anderson, Spire’s Director of Cancer Services.
“For many cancer sufferers, the opportunity to have care from diagnosis right through to recovery from the same provider is incredibly important,” he added.
The centre will treat a broad range of cancers including breast, gynaecological, prostate, head, neck, skin and lung cancers using state of the art treatment and verification techniques.
The centre also has consulting rooms and an eight-bay chemotherapy suite, presented in a unique tranquil environment. The centre’s services will be led by clinical oncologist Mr Sherif Raouf and supported by a dedicated specialist team with 12 new roles being created.
To mark today’s official opening of the centre, 204 helium filled balloons were released each representing one of the people who will have been diagnosed with cancer so far this week in the East of England region. “The idea is that the balloons represent hope for those individuals,” said Rob Anderson.
“Cancer survival rates in this country are at the highest they have ever been. Investment in new technology and a state-of-the-art treatment centre like this will help push that figure even higher.”