Cancer patients will soon be able to have access to radiotherapy at the Eastbourne DGH after a £15m investment was agreed.
The East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust held its board meeting on Wednesday, and agreed to go ahead with the provision of radiotherapy at the Eastbourne hospital.
Opening a radiotherapy treatment centre in Eastbourne will make a very real, practical difference for some of our sickest patients, dramatically reducing the time they spend travelling at this difficult time.
At present, many cancer patients from Eastbourne and Hastings have to travel as far as Brighton or Maidstone for their radiotherapy treatment.
Darren Grayson, East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust CEO said, “It is excellent news that we will be able to provide this vital service at Eastbourne District General Hospital. The development of this new unit will bring radiotherapy into East Sussex for the very first time. Almost half of all people with cancer have radiotherapy as part of their treatment plan and patients in our area will benefit from this state-of-the-art development, which is closer to where they live. It is also further evidence of our continued investment in Eastbourne District General Hospital and part of a major series of upgrades and reconfigurations across the hospital to ensure that we can deliver higher standards of care and treatment.”
Dr Fiona McKinna, consultant oncologist said, “This is very exciting news for cancer care.
“People who need radiotherapy often have to come in daily for a number of weeks.
“Opening a radiotherapy treatment centre in Eastbourne will make a very real, practical difference for some of our sickest patients, dramatically reducing the time they spend travelling at this difficult time.”
The business case for the investment was developed by Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust.
The £15m investment will provide two Linacs (the linear accelerator machines used to deliver radiotherapy) within a modern, fully equipped radiotherapy facility at the DGH.
The radiotherapy unit will be based in the recently opened £5.7 m extension to the hospital.
Subject to agreement by the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust Board on March 30, final work will start on building plans with the intention that the service will open as early as December 2015.
Matthew Kershaw, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust CEO said, “Taking radiotherapy closer to people’s homes has been a long term goal for cancer care in Sussex and I am very pleased that this close working by commissioners and providers across the local NHS is coming to fruition. We already have the planning permission that we need and will now be able to agree final detailed building plans. I am determined to do all I can to ensure this work is carried out swiftly so that people can benefit from this new service as soon as possible.”
Every year more than 3,000 people in the East Sussex Healthcare Trust area are told they have cancer and demand for cancer services is increasing.