Cancer patients to benefit from new £15m radiotherapy centre

Radiotherapy centreWork has resumed on a new £15 million Radiotherapy Centre that will enable cancer patients in Eastbourne and surrounding areas to be treated closer to home.

The investment, funded by Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, will provide radiotherapy services within a state-of-the-art, fully equipped facility at Eastbourne District General Hospital.

The unit will be an extension to the radiotherapy centre operated by the Sussex Cancer Centre in Brighton and it is expected to open its doors to its first patients in May next year.

Currently, patients who live in East Sussex have to travel to Brighton or Maidstone in Kent for radiotherapy treatment. This new dedicated radiotherapy centre will significantly reduce the need for cancer patients to travel outside of East Sussex for treatment and will allow these vital services to be carried out much closer to where they live.

Dr Fiona McKinna, Clinical Director of Cancer Services and Consultant Oncologist at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “It is an exciting time to see building work restart but most importantly it is great news for local 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.”

Dr Gillian Fairfield, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust Interim Chief Executive, 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.

“Having had radiotherapy for breast cancer myself, I know how tiring it can be and why it’s so important not to have to travel too far.”

The new radiotherapy centre is located below the Endoscopy Unit at the hospital.

Building work was temporarily paused in December while awaiting final funding approval from the Department of Health.