Radiotherapy Unit on course to open to schedule

Artist's impression of how the forecourt of the new Radiotherapy Unit will look.
Artist's impression of how the forecourt of the new Radiotherapy Unit will look.

Derry’s new £50m Radiotherapy Unit is on course to open later this year, Western Trust officials have confirmed.

A major push is now under way to fill the remaining staff vacancies for the state-of-the art cancer treatment cross-border centre, which is expected to open in the Autumn of 2016.

The confirmation was delivered following a presentation by Western Health and Social Care Trust Director of Performance and Service Improvement, Teresa Molloy and Karen Meehan, ‘Transforming Your Care’ Project Co-ordinator before Derry City & Strabane District Council’s Health and Community Committee.

Independent Councillor Sean Carr had posed the question of whether the centre would be open on time.

Teresa Molloy replied that it would, adding that she wanted to “underline the level of effort that has gone in and continues to go in to establish a brand new service”.

She added that this was a service which was extremely specialist centre, and said that the Trust had had to “go to very significant efforts to ensure we attract first of all the leadership”.

An artist's impression of how the finished Radiotherapy Unit will look once finished.

An artist's impression of how the finished Radiotherapy Unit will look once finished.

Now that this has been done “very successfully”, she said, the Trust is now in the process of staffing the facility, with dedicated management resources put in place “to work on this final stage of recruitment”.

“We are delighted with the progress and we are very confidence about the time-frame,” she added.

The Western Trust’s Radiotherapy Unit is one of the largest health investments across Ireland taking place at the moment.

It will provide modern, patient-centred cancer services to patients on both sides of the border.

We are delighted with the progress and we are very confidence about the time-frame.

As well as providing cancer treatment to patients from Inishowen and the rest of north and mid-Donegal (the catchment area of Letterkenny General Hospital), north of the border it will cater for patients from Derry, Strabane, Omagh, Fermanagh and Causeway Coast and Glens Council areas.

In population terms, this will be a combined total of over 500,000 people.

However, in the north approximately 10% of this population will continue to access more specialist treatment at the Northern Ireland Cancer Centre at Belfast City Hospital, while in the Republic about 10% of this population continuing to receive more specialist treatment at National Treatment Centres.

It is envisaged that the unit will be finished in summer 2016, and will open in autumn 2016.