The new £9million Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre was officially opened at Harrogate District Hospital yesterday (October 22).
As a result of Sir Robert’s £3.5million donation, the new outpatient and oncology information centre can provide state-of-the art facilities for people affected by cancer in North Yorkshire.
The centre replaces the outpatient haematology and chemotherapy unit at the hospital and means many patients in Harrogate will no longer have to travel to Leeds or York for their treatment.
Macmillan Cancer Support were also able to match the figure donated by Sir Robert while Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust provided £2million.
The new centre includes a treatment area, with 14 chairs for patients to receive chemotherapy, and Sir Robert said he was ‘delighted’ the people of North Yorkshire could now access the new centre.
He said: “I am proud to have been closely involved in the project and I am certain that the Harrogate Centre will prove to be as successful as the earlier centre I funded with Macmillan at St James’s Hospital Leeds”.
The new centre for cancer and haematology patients will also have separate surgical areas for procedures such as blood tests with space for six clinic rooms, two rooms for counselling and a staff room.
By the main entrance the supportive care, health and wellbeing area will provide services including patient information and support, complementary therapies and welfare benefits advice.
Lady Halifax, President of Macmillan Cancer Support, described the centre as an ‘inspirational place to be’.
She said: “This beautiful and innovative new centre makes an enormous difference to local people affected by cancer and their families.
“Not only do they benefit from not having to travel longer distances to Leeds or York, but they’re also receiving the latest in cancer treatment, in an incredibly calm and relaxing, state-of-the-art centre.
“The official opening is an exciting and significant day for Macmillan, and the culmination of a successful partnership with Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust and Sir Robert Ogden.”
Construction of the centre began in autumn 2012 and was completed by the end of 2013. Staff and services moved across in March 2014.
The design of the centre was influenced by patient representatives and delivers Macmillan’s quality environment standards – a benchmark for cancer patient experience.
Sandra Dodson, chairman of Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted to officially be opening this fabulous facility, which is already giving significant benefits to the quality of care that we provide to cancer patients and their families.
“Within the Centre, in addition to high quality clinical care, we are now able to offer additional support services, including the Welfare and Benefits Service, which has already helped patients to claim £1million in benefits since launching less than a year ago.”
Dr Ros Tolcher, Chief Executive, added: “Our highly trained and dedicated staff are already receiving some fantastic feedback from patients who are telling us how much better the Centre is than the previous facility, allowing them to feel more relaxed which can only help with their treatment.”