Spire Healthcare takes a significant step towards the development of a major new cancer facility in the South East

As part of their ongoing growth strategy in cancer care, Spire Healthcare, a leading private hospital group, has taken a significant step towards the development of a major new cancer centre in Chelmsford, Essex, it was announced yesterday, 17 December 2014.

After the successful build, opening and popularity of its Specialist Care Centre in Bristol, Spire submitted a request on 12 December for planning permission next to Baddow Hospital at the Essex Healthcare Park in Chelmsford, with the view to build a similar facility to serve the city and wider Essex and adjoining counties areas.

Subject to a successful planning application, work will begin early next year, with completion in autumn 2015. Initial architect drawings have been prepared and provide for a two-storey centre with a two-bunker radiotherapy facility.  The facility will house two state-of-the-art linear accelerators (LinAcs), a wide-bore CT scanner, consultant offices and consulting rooms and an eight bay chemotherapy suite.  

Radiotherapy is a highly effective way of treating cancer yet remains undersupplied in the NHS with just 4.1 LinAcs per 100,000 of population – a figure some way below the rest of the major European countries. This development will bring a welcome increase to the country’s private provision of LinAcs – especially outside of London – currently only standing at 20 private machines nationwide. 

The centre, conveniently situated in the heart of Essex and near key motorway and major road links, will utilise state-of-the-art planning and treatment techniques to provide patients with the most technically advanced treatment, partnered with high standards of patient care and support. It will treat a broad range of cancers, including breast, prostate and lung cancers, and will enable Spire to offer integrated end to end care for patients from diagnosis right through to recovery. 

Spire Healthcare is one of the UK’s largest private hospital providers with 39 hospitals and 12 clinics nationwide, offering a full range of integrated surgical, medical and diagnostic services. The company already works with a large, supportive group of consultants in Essex and looks forward to welcoming them to its new cancer facility.

Neil McCullough, Spire’s Group Development Director, said: “Building and opening a new cancer facility on this scale is an exciting challenge and fits well with Spire’s aim to provide high quality cancer services to a wider market.” 

“We’re fitting this facility with some of the most advanced technology available today, including two state-of-the-art linear accelerators. This equipment will enable our clinicians to provide highly targeted radiotherapy, which means much greater precision for patients as healthy tissue surrounding tumours is preserved.  We are thrilled to be able to invest in and support this service for the people of Essex.”

Christian Cooper, Chief Executive of the privately owned Baddow Hospital, said: “At Baddow Hospital we have always envisaged developing a healthcare centre of excellence in Essex and this is a major step forward in delivering on that vision at our Essex Healthcare Park. The Spire Specialist Care unit will be an excellent complement to our Baddow Hospital facility, which already offers a range of healthcare services including gynaecology, urology, general surgery, dermatology, podiatry and plastic surgery.”

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