The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall have officially opened the North West Cancer Centre at Altnagelvin Hospital.
The North West Cancer Centre welcomed its first patients in November 2016, providing dedicated treatment and care to cancer patients across the Western and Northern Trusts and Donegal.
In a unique collaboration between the respective Health Departments, North and South of the Border, cancer patients from Donegal also avail of Radiotherapy treatment at the Centre.
Representing the Irish Government at the official opening were Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Departments of the Taoiseach and Foreign Affairs and Trade, Irish Government, Mr Joe McHugh TD, and Minister of State for Health Promotion, Department of Health, Irish Government, Ms Marcella Corcoran-Kennedy TD.
Welcoming the dignitaries and invited guests to the Centre, Acting Chairman of the Western Trust, said: “It is a great honour to have the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall officially open the North West Cancer Centre today. Establishing a cancer centre at Altnagelvin Hospital has been a Trust priority for the past ten years. Today we have a state-of-the-art building fitted with world-class equipment and staffed by truly dedicated and talented cancer care professionals. It is a real testament to the commitment of our clinicians and staff, local charity groups and health and social care bodies in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland that we can celebrate the Centre’s official opening.
“Cancer is never an easy journey for anyone that receives a diagnosis. This Centre will greatly improve access to treatment and reduce travelling times while importantly improving our patients’ outcomes and overall experience.”
Inside the Prince and Duchess were given a tour of the centre by the Western Trust’s Acting Chairman, Niall Birthistle and Chief Executive, Elaine Way CBE, where they met with clinical staff.
They also met and spoke with patients in Ward 50, the inpatient ward within the Centre and outpatients. During their tour they viewed the CT Simulator and Truebeam Linear Accelerators, which are the latest technologies available today in cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Before departing the North West Cancer Centre the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall spoke with members of local cancer charity groups, the design and construction team and other management, staff and guests involved in the development of the North West Cancer Centre.