Eastbourne Radiotherapy Centre – official opening

New centre provides local cancer patients with state-of-the art treatment

The new radiotherapy centre which has already helped hundreds of East Sussex cancer patients was officially ‘opened’ yesterday.

Tom Chaplin opens the Eastbourne Radiotherapy Centre

The £14.5 million centre at Eastbourne District Hospital is an extension of the Brighton-based Sussex Cancer Centre. The Eastbourne centre is equipped with two of the latest linear accelerators (LINACs) which enable patients to receive the best-possible radiotherapy treatment – and to receive it closer to home.

The speakers and guests at the opening event included radiotherapy patients, doctors, representatives from local councils, including the Mayor of Eastbourne, and the Friends of Eastbourne Hospitals.

Over 250 patients have already had detailed CT ‘planning scans’ to pinpoint their cancers and staff have already performed over 4,000 radiotherapy treatments. Patients will often receive treatment every day Monday to Friday over four to seven weeks.

The centre’s opening means patients can receive all their care in the local hospital, instead of having to travel to Brighton or Maidstone every day for treatment. The new machines provide faster, more precise treatment, which will allow more patients to receive better cancer treatment.

The centre is currently treating 50 patients a day and this is expected to increase to 60-80 patients every day.

Mike Viggers, chair of Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals said:

“We want cancer patients in Sussex to get the best possible treatment and I am delighted to help officially open this new radiotherapy centre in Eastbourne. Providing local cancer treatment is a core part of our cancer strategy. Patients have enough to deal with when they are diagnosed with cancer without having to worry about how they’re going to get to their treatment every day. The centre we will help hundreds of local patients each year who would previously have had travel long distances each day for their treatment.”

Julie Warner, Head of Radiotherapy at the Sussex Cancer Centre said:

“This centre is already making a huge difference to cancer patients in East Sussex. We had reached the point where some patients were choosing not to receive radiotherapy because the daily travel to Brighton was too much of a barrier. Radiotherapy can be physically and emotionally draining. Now, patients across East Sussex can benefit from a state-of-the-art treatment centre on their doorsteps.”

The centre is a key part of the strategy to improve radiotherapy services across Sussex. Next month a new LINAC machine will be installed at the Sussex Cancer Centre – the hub of the Sussex Cancer Network.