Forever Friends Hit Target

The Forever Friends Appeal is celebrating reaching its £10m funding target towards supporting the much-anticipated Dyson Cancer Centre at the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust (RUH).

Thanks to the kindness and compassion of thousands of supporters, this milestone achievement comes just as demolition work to clear the way for the new Centre draws to a close at the RUH’s Combe Park site, ahead of construction work starting in summer 2021.

Cara Charles Barks, Chief Executive of the RUH said, “Thank you to our local community for being so kind, committed and generous with your time, as well as your giving. This amount is a significant contribution towards the overall cost of the new Centre, and this incredible achievement will help transform the care we provide for patients, families and carers.”

Like the award-winning Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care, the Dyson Cancer Centre has been designed with input from patients and staff to offer an exceptional facility with a therapeutic environment.

RUH Cancer Lead Nurse, Caroline Gilleece, said: “Thank you to everyone that has joined us in raising funds so that we can create something very special, above and beyond what the NHS alone could have provided.”

Rhyannon Boyd, Head of Fundraising at the hospital charity said: “We’re extremely grateful to the patients, families, supporters and NHS staff who’ve contributed – by donating, walking, running, baking and much more. It’s an outstanding achievement and we’re very proud of everyone that has been part of this. We will continue to raise funds for cancer services at the RUH through our charity activities to help patients receive the best possible care.

The Dyson Cancer Centre will bring the majority of cancer services, including research, under one roof, providing oncology, chemotherapy and radiotherapy services and a 22-bed inpatient ward.

We are working with the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England & Improvement team on overall timescales so that the hospital can open for patients as early as possible, currently scheduled for autumn 2023.”

Cancer charity Macmillan Cancer Support has invested an additional £1.5 million into the Dyson Cancer Centre to fund a purpose-built support centre at its heart. The Macmillan Wellbeing Hub will offer advice and support to patients and their families at every step of their cancer journey. You can find out more about the Macmillan Wellbeing Hub, or make a donation here www.macmillan.org.uk/macmillanwellbeinghub

You can watch the demolition of the old Therapies block here:

https://www.ruh.nhs.uk/about/fit_for_the_future/cancer_centre_timelapse.asp?menu_id=6

Newly-decorated hoardings on the RUH site will screen busy construction work from patients, staff and visitors, but a dedicated webcam will be set up so you can keep an eye on how the project is progressing online at www.ruh.nhs.uk/DysonCancerCentre

The remainder of the funding for the Dyson Cancer Centre will be provided by the government as part of the commitment to build 40 new hospitals across the country by 2030, as part of the biggest hospital building programme in a generation.