North West Cancer Centre at Altnagelvin ‘on target’ for opening

The reception area of the new centre. The Trust say the service is on target to commence at the end of November.
The reception area of the new centre. The Trust say the service is on target to commence at the end of November.

The Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust) has confirmed the radiotherapy service at Altnagelvin Hospital is on target to commence at the end of November.

As revealed in the ‘Journal’ last week, the new service will greatly enhance existing cancer care already delivered at Altnagelvin and will provide radiotherapy treatment for cancer patients living within the Western Trust area, the northern sector of the Northern Trust (BT51 to BT57) and Donegal (Letterkenny University Hospital locality).

Lead Clinical Oncologist, Dr David Stewart, said they’ve worked closely with health colleagues at the regional cancer centres in Belfast and Galway, and with cancer services staff in the Northern Trust and Letterkenny University Hospital.

Dr Stewart said the opening of the Radiotherapy Department will be phased.The initial phase will see a small number of new patients with Prostate cancer receive their treatment at the centre, which will start within a matter of days. Phase two, in the New Year, will see a gradual increase in the number of patients and different types of cancers being treated at the centre.”

Dr Stewart continued: “Anyone with a recent cancer diagnosis residing within the catchment area of the new facility will have their radiotherapy treatment information and options explained to them fully by their oncologist. In the interest of consistency of care, a patient who starts their treatment in a particular hospital will continue to have their treatment at that same hospital. This will ensure that they are being cared for by the same team and more importantly with the same diagnostic and treatment equipment.”

“Patients currently attending a medical team for investigations or for cancer treatment such as chemotherapy or hormonal therapy will continue to do so. The point at which patients will attend Altnagelvin for radiotherapy is when they are referred by their medical team.”

Elaine Way, Chief Executive of the Western Trust paid tribute to everyone involved, and said: “It is absolutely fantastic for the people of the North West and surrounding areas that we are now about to make use of this outstanding new development.”