Great leap forward in cancer treatment and research

Published 23rd October, 2014

NSW Premier Mike Baird and Health Minister Jillian Skinner today officially opened Stage One of a new $79.8 cancer treatment and research centre at the Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick.
 
The Premier and Mrs Skinner were joined by Member for Coogee Bruce Notley-Smith and Member for Vaucluse Gabrielle Upton as they toured Stage One of the Nelune Comprehensive Cancer Centre (NCCC) and Scientia Clinical Research (SCR) facility.
 
Stage One was constructed underground to accommodate four radiotherapy bunkers, which house three linear accelerators, with the fourth bunker for research.
 
The first cancer patients will be treated with the linear accelerators from next month.
 
With completion of Stage One, the existing POWH radiation oncology building will be demolished to allow construction of Stage 2 of the project.
 
Stage 2 comprises a 10-level building (including the two underground levels) to complete the NCCC, plus construction of the SCR facility.
 
“Today’s opening reaffirms the NSW Government’s absolute commitment to delivering better health services for the people of our great state,” Mr Baird said.
 
“These state-of-the-art bunkers and linear accelerators will greatly improve the lives of those living with and recovering from cancer.”
 
The NCCC brings together ambulatory, outpatient and radiotherapy services which are currently provided across eight sites on the Randwick Hospitals Campus. It will provide up to 5000 inpatient cancer treatments each year, including patients from regional centres.
The SCR centre - a facility of the University of New South Wales - will promote NSW as a premier location for clinical trials and provide an opportunity for fast tracking new medical discoveries.
 
“Cancer touches all our lives in some way, which is why the NSW Government is so committed to ensuring patients have access to state-of-the-art treatments and care,” Mrs Skinner said.
 
“As Minister for Medical Research as well as Minister for Health, I am also determined to support talented researchers on their journey to find a cure, knowing what they discover at laboratory bench tops today will translate to the bedside for future patients.”
 
Mr Notley-Smith said: “Labor’s neglect meant that, for too long, patients have had to rely on the old cancer treatment unit. This outstanding new facility is just the start of massive improvements for patients at Prince of Wales Hospital.”
 
Ms Upton said: “I am proud to be a member of a Government which delivers on its commitment to improve services for the people of NSW. State-of-the-art facilities such as these allow clinicians and researchers to do their best work.”
The NSW Government contributed $41.5 million to the NCCC and SCR project, with the University of New South Wales ($11 million), the Prince of Wales Hospital Foundation ($10.7 million) - of which the Nelune Foundation has contributed $5 million - Prince of Wales Hospital’s Cancer Services ($7.1 million) also making sizeable contributions.
 
Health Infrastructure recently awarded the contract to commence demolition and early works on Stage 2 to A W Edwards Pty Ltd.
 
While at PoWH today, Mrs Skinner launched the Bright Alliance - a unique collaboration between PoWH, Royal Hospital for Women and UNSW Australia.
 
The chair of the Advisory Committee of the Bright Alliance, Lucy Turnbull AO, said it the alliance aims to break down barriers between cancer care, research and clinical teaching, ensuring the best outcomes for cancer patients, now and in the years to come.  
 
For further information about the NCCC and SCR, visit http://www.seslhd.health.nsw.gov.au/POWH_nccc/

Published 23rd October, 2014