New £10m cancer centre opens at Friarage

Siobhan McArdle, second from right, at the opening of the Friarage's Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre. Photo: Doug Jackson.

A new £10 million cancer centre officially opened its doors today at the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton.

The Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre features a spacious chemotherapy lounge, relaxing garden area and a Macmillan information centre as well as complementary therapy, consultation and treatment rooms.

Yorkshire philanthropist Sir Robert Ogden has jointly funded the purpose-built facility in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support, providing a wealth of design expertise to help turn a vision into reality.

Sir Robert said: “I am delighted that the people of North Yorkshire now have a new cancer treatment centre.

“My wife and I are proud to have been closely involved with the design and funding of the project, and I am certain that the Friarage centre will prove to be as successful as the two centres that I funded earlier with Macmillan at St James’s Hospital Leeds and Harrogate District Hospital.”

South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has also contributed to the project by clearing the site and building a new car park, and providing clinical ideas and expertise.

The first staff and visitors to set foot in the centre have been amazed by the look and feel of the modern, state-of-the-art facility.

Alan Downey, chairman of South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are very excited to be able to provide such wonderful new facilities here at the Friarage and to expand the cancer services we provide to people in the local area. We hope this will become a hub for innovations in delivering high quality cancer care that is truly patient focused.”

Having treatment and support services under one roof means that patients no longer have to walk to different parts of the hospital. The centre will provide more than 4,500 chemotherapy treatments a year and more than 200 outpatient appointments a week.

Nicky Hand, lead cancer nurse at the trust, said: “It’s amazing because we can now treat more patients closer to home in this beautiful environment. The centre been created with a lot of input from our cancer patients.

For example we have given patient choice when having chemotherapy by offering a range of seating options, including the option of occupying private space, all of which are accommodated within an environment that offers natural light and the ability to see the garden wherever you choose to sit.”