THE Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust has this week marked a significant milestone in the construction of its new state-of-the-art treatment and research facility, the Oak Cancer Centre.
Funded by a £70 million appeal from The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and named after its lead donor, Oak Foundation, the concrete structure of the Oak Cancer Centre is now complete. A traditional Topping Out ceremony was held to mark the building reaching its full height, where Chief Operating Officer at The Royal Marsden, Karl Munslow Ong, laid the final block of concrete.
The building is on track to open by the end of 2022, with contractors working safely throughout the pandemic to keep the project on schedule. Just 11 months ago, HRH The Duke of Cambridge visited the site to lay a foundation stone and celebrate breaking ground.
The Royal Marsden is a world-leading cancer centre, specialising in cancer diagnosis, treatment, research and education.
The new facility, adjacent to The Royal Marsden in Sutton, will enable the hospital to tackle some of the most pressing challenges in cancer research and treatment today.
The Royal Marsden currently has more clinical trials for cancer open than anywhere else in the UK and it will aim to go further with the new centre, by increasing the number of patients on clinical trials. To facilitate this, the Kuok Group Foundation Research Centre will bring together more than 400 researchers under the same roof as clinicians and patients. Research teams who specialise in different cancer types will be able to work together, sharing ideas in breakout spaces to help speed up the development of new treatments for people with cancer throughout the UK and around the world.
The Oak Cancer Centre has been designed to treat patients in environments that will optimise their experience of visiting the hospital. The building will make the most efficient use of space and provide a better layout for patients and staff. This will include:
- A consolidated Outpatient Department, accessible on a single floor;
- a Day Care Unit that will enable patients to receive their treatment in modern, spacious environments filled with natural light;
- the state-of-the-art Goldman Sachs Gives Centre for Urgent Care that will allow acutely unwell inpatients to be assessed in-house, without needing to be sent to a local A&E department;
- and The Charles Wolfson Rapid Diagnostic Centre, with the latest diagnostic technology that will enable consultants to find more cancers at an earlier stage, when treatment is more likely to be successful. A brand-new endoscopy suite, located alongside the Rapid Diagnostic Centre, will also help to improve early diagnosis.
Karl Munslow Ong, Chief Operating Officer at The Royal Marsden, said:
“It is an honour to mark this significant milestone in the construction of the Oak Cancer Centre and I am grateful to all the supporters of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity who are fast making it become a reality.
“This building will be quite literally life-changing for those who walk through its doors; it has been specially designed to enhance patient experience and provide our staff with the best facilities to conduct their life-saving and innovative work.”
“With one in two people now likely to be affected by cancer during their lifetime, innovations in how we find and treat cancer before it’s had a chance to grow and spread can make all the difference. The early diagnosis centre and research spaces will help speed up the translation of pioneering research into breakthroughs in treatment and care, meaning the Oak Cancer Centre truly has the potential to transform the lives of cancer patients not just at The Royal Marsden, but across the UK and around the world.”
Lee Hutchinson, Managing Director, Science and Health at ISG, said:
“We are delighted to have reached this point in the Oak Cancer Centre’s journey and truly honoured to be a part of the development of such a pioneering healthcare facility as we see it come to fruition. The topping-out ceremony marks the crucial milestone of reaching the highest point in a project’s construction process, bringing together the project team and partners to celebrate and reflect.
“Despite the restrictions and logistical challenges of the past year, the project’s progress has continued as originally planned pre Covid allowing us, our design partners and supply chain to collectively showcase our expertise in this sector. This is a testament to the entire project team and client for their hard work and collaboration and is the reason we are standing here today, as we lay the final piece of concrete.”
The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, together with its dedicated supporters, are raising £70million to make the Oak Cancer Centre possible. Find out how you can get involved and help make the Oak Cancer Centre a reality.
For more information, please visit: royalmarsden.org/occ-events.