4 May 2010
Cath Lindley from Macmillan accepts the keys to the new Macmillan Cancer Unit at Prince Charles Hospital from Willmott Dixon's Ian Jones watched by representatives from the local health boards and Macmillan fundraising committees
Construction work has been completed on the new Macmillan Cancer Unit at Prince Charles Hospital, Merthyr Tydfil. Contractors, Willmott Dixon handed the building over to Macmillan general manager in Wales, Cath Lindley.
The £1.4m state of the art centre will provide vital chemotherapy treatment and support for patients in Merthyr, the Cynon Valley, south Powys and north Caerphilly.
In building the oncology unit, Willmott Dixon used 2,500 concrete blocks, nearly 10,000 bricks, 2.5 tonnes of steel for the frame and 25 steel piles. At the peak of its construction, there were 25 people working on site and the whole project took around 1,520 hours to build.
Neal Stephens, Managing Director of Willmott Dixon in Wales, said:
'The building has now been officially handed over to Macmillan which means all the construction work is complete and ready for the equipment to be moved in.
'It has been a fantastic project to work on – not just because of the design of the building but because the support the community has given to it over the years. The new oncology unit is an impressive building and one that will become a vital facility for the region.'
Accepting the keys to the new unit from Neal Stephens, Cath Lindley, General Manager for Macmillan Cancer Support in Wales, said:
'This is a fantastic achievement for everyone involved in the project from the local people, Macmillan fundraising committees and newspapers who helped us raise the money to the architects and contractors who worked tirelessly on the building. A special thank you to the construction workers at Willmott Dixon who have worked hard through the harsh winter to ensure the project is completed on time.'
The single storey unit comprises a reception area and an outpatient department, which includes four consultation and treatment rooms. There is also a large area with room for eleven chemotherapy treatment chairs and a separate bedroom as well as other supporting facilities.
In addition to the money raised by the Macmillan appeal, the charity has contributed an additional £200,000 to meet the cost of the build which has been match funded by the Welsh Assembly Government. Cwm Taf LHB provided the land for the build and health professionals from Velindre NHS Trust will be delivering the service with colleagues from Cwm Taf LHB.
Margaret Foster, Chief Executive, Cwm Taf Health Board said:
'I am delighted to be part of today’s significant event. The project has been supported from the outset by the local population in the South Wales Valleys and the services provided in the unit will be an endorsement of the support received, from which patients can only benefit.'
Alun Lloyd, Acting Chief Executive, Velindre NHS Trust said:
'I am delighted to attend the formal handover of the key for the Macmillan Unit in Prince Charles Hospital. This event poses an important milestone into the provision of oncology services for the local population. Velindre Cancer Centre is delighted to be part of this exciting service development.'
Most of the money for the new unit was raised by local people in the South Wales valleys and the Merthyr, Cynon and Caerphilly Macmillan Committees through a Macmillan appeal. The appeal was supported by the Cynon Valley Leader and Merthyr Express newspapers and thanks to everyone’s hard work just under £1m was raised in 18 months.
Work now starts on fitting out the unit with beds and equipment in readiness for the first patients.
Macmillan, Cwm Taf LHB and Velindre Cancer Centre are currently planning two open days for partners involved in the project to have the opportunity to visit the unit before it opens to patients. As well as this an official opening ceremony for the unit will take place in the autumn.