Newcastle Hospitals Charity is funding a new cancer research team to deliver clinical trials at the new Northern Centre for Cancer Care, North Cumbria (NCCNC).
The Charity is supporting six roles for two years to enable the clinical research team to establish trials for new cancer treatments for patients in the new centre.
Newcastle Hospitals is opening the new state of the art cancer centre in North Cumbria in partnership with the North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust.
The NCCC, North Cumbria has been built on the Cumberland Infirmary site in Carlisle and will mean that people can access care closer to home, improving cancer services for patients all over north, west and east Cumbria.
The new clinical research trials team is an expansion of the 40-strong Oncology and Haematology clinical trials team based at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, which has 70-100 trials running at any one time.
Jonathan Stoddart, Late Phase Clinical Trials Manager in Oncology and Haematology research at Newcastle Hospitals, said: “We are extremely excited to expand our service in North Cumbria and look forward to working alongside our NCCCNC clinical colleagues to offer local patients the opportunity to access cancer research trials.
“Having a cancer research team delivering clinical trials from the new centre will increase treatment options for the local population and will give access to the latest treatments, which are only currently available with significant travel to Newcastle.
“We want to make access to cancer trials for patients in Cumbria more equitable and give patients the opportunity to join the latest cancer trials and treatments closer to their homes. Our overarching aim is to deliver the best possible outcomes for every patient affected by cancer in Cumbria.”
Teri Bayliss, charity director at Newcastle Hospitals Charity said: “We are really pleased to be able to support such an important project in partnership with the Trusts in both Newcastle and North Cumbria, which will bring improved access and treatment for cancer closer to home for patients in Cumbria.”
The charity has supported two years funding for a team of six people including:
- Clinical trials officer
- Admin assistant
- Pharmacy technician
- Research radiographer
- Dosimetrist (radiotherapy planning)
There is a seventh data manager post to complete the team, which is being funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
Recruitment to these roles is expected to start within the next few months with a view to active trials beginning in the New Year.
The Charity has launched an ambitious five-year strategy and this project meets two of the overall aims, which are; to fund health related clinical research and innovation projects, and to collaborate with partners on tacking health inequalities and creating healthier communities
Meanwhile the Northern Centre for Cancer Care, North Cumbria will open to patients this summer and the new state-of-the-art centre will house:
- two linear accelerator radiotherapy machines a chemotherapy day unit with 15 treatment chairs and three single treatment rooms
- a CT scanner suite
- consultation, examination rooms and a small café area
- multipurpose rooms for complementary therapies and patient support
A turf cutting ceremony in January 2020 officially marked the start of building work. Despite the constraints of the pandemic, work on the centre has continued at pace and in April almost 90 members of staff transferred across from North Cumbria’s oncology services to join the Newcastle Hospitals team.
If you would like to support Newcastle Hospitals Charity and the support we give to cancer patients and services, please visit https://www.committedgiving.uk.net/newcastlehospitals/public/index.aspx