CANCER patients and nurses got their first look at a state-of-the-art, multi-million pound facility taking shape at Wigan Infirmary.
The £5m cancer care centre and pathology laboratory is currently under construction at the hospital’s Wigan Lane site, and is on course to open as planned in September.
Health chiefs boasted the facilities will boost the partnership between specialist cancer hospital The Christie NHS Foundation Trust and Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) and maintain the borough’s reputation for providing world-class care.
WWL nurses this week got their first chance to see the building, which will include purpose-built clinical accommodation, 12 chemotherapy treatment areas, counselling facilities, a complementary therapy suite and an information and support service hub for Macmillan Cancer Support, taking shape.
WWL deputy chief executive and director of strategy Silas Nicholls said: “A world-class NHS centre like this will provide the people of Wigan with fast access to effective, safe and convenient cancer care, including one-stop chemotherapy treatment.”
The cancer centre also plans to develop a joint service with The Christie to offer some of the Manchester hospital’s range of specialist chemotherapy treatments in the borough, as part of the national Chemotherapy Closer to Home scheme which seeks to reduce the distance cancer patients have to travel to receive care, with some residents currently having to make weekly journeys into Manchester.
The two-storey laboratory and centre forms a key part of WWL’s ongoing £50m investment programme, which has also included installing new theatres at Wrightington Hospital and a specialist urology department with an endoscope re-processing unit and women’s health facilities at Leigh Infirmary.
Work by Barnes Construction is expected to finish in July, ready for the centre to welcome its first patients in the autumn.
The building carried out so far has impressed the WWL staff who have been to check on progress.
Oncology ward manager Leonora Anson said: “Our new cancer care centre will bring about a new standard for cancer care.
“It will improve the experience for cancer patients and help save more lives.”