Never mind the Christmas lights, Spire Southampton hospital has just switched on the very latest in radiotherapy equipment at a new facility that will open in January 2010. Aimed at treating patients in the South, the facility will attract referrals from as far as Basingstoke, Bristol and Bodmin. The centre, based at Spire Southampton hospital will be operated by CancerPartnersUK, an independent organisation, specialising in bringing the latest cancer treatment facilities to patients around the UK.
The CancerPartnersUK centre will house the latest generation radiotherapy technologies, including Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) and Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT). It will complement the existing cancer services provided at Spire Southampton, to provide a fully-integrated range of cancer treatments on one site. This is only the second independent facility outside London where patients can have radiotherapy on the same site as their other cancer treatments.
Melvin Robson, Spire’s Southampton Hospital Director commented: “Cancer treatment is an important area for us, we have invested considerably in the last few years in new facilities to help treat patients and attract the very best consultants in the South. With CancerPartnersUK on site, we believe we have the most comprehensive private cancer treatment service outside London. We have consulted with many of the oncologists and cancer specialists working in both the private sector and NHS, and we are excited that we are contributing to a significant improvement in cancer care across the region.”
CancerPartnersUK was set up by a group of cancer experts to improve the availability of high-quality cancer treatment outside London. Professor Karol Sikora, a leading cancer specialist and Medical Director of CancerPartnersUK said: “With one in three people now affected by cancer there is a huge demand for treatment. In particular there is a national shortage of radiotherapy services*, which means that patients often have to wait longer or travel further than is acceptable.”
Professor Sikora added: “This new centre will increase local capacity for radiotherapy and the benefits will be far-reaching. All Spire hospitals’ patients can have their treatment on site, but we will also offer access to patients who are receiving treatment elsewhere. This will inevitably free up capacity in other regional centres.
CancerPartnersUK’s new facility is backed by Apposite Capital, a leading investment firm exclusively focused on healthcare. In spite of the economic downturn, the company has remained focused on its objective of enhancing cancer services around the UK, with Portsmouth and Southampton leading the way for similar treatment facilities over the next two years.
*National Cancer Strategy and the National Radiotherapy Advisory Group (NRAG) and supported by data from the Swedish Karolinska Institute.