The future of the Cancer Treatment Centre - a message from Merv Rees

“Ark Cancer Centre Charity launched in 2012 with the goal of raising £5million to help fund a much-needed unique local Cancer Treatment Centre to serve people in the Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT) area. Achieving that goal is as important today as it was five years ago.

“Thanks to the wonderful support of the public, Ark Cancer Centre Charity has so far raised more than £1.5m towards the £5m target – a tremendous, and humbling, achievement.

“The vast majority of the funds raised so far have come from individual and collective fundraising and donations. The charity’s motto is ‘For the people, by the people’ and local people have really shown that they support the HHFT Cancer Treatment Centre project, and they want it to be built.

“From the outset, the aspiration has been to build the new Cancer Treatment Centre alongside a new HHFT Critical Treatment Hospital (CTH) on land near to Junction 7 of the M3 on the outskirts of Basingstoke. This would have put the new hospital and cancer centre in the middle of the HHFT area, making both easily accessible to all of our residents.

“While the Junction 7 location has been the preferred option, all involved in the Cancer Treatment Centre project have always stated that if this does not prove to be achievable, we would proceed with exploring an alternative location, most likely on the existing Basingstoke hospital site.

“On November 30, after a long-running review process involving various health providing partners, the local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) announced that, at this time, plans to build the CTH should not proceed to consultation.

“The decision of the CCGs is disappointing for Ark Cancer Centre Charity. However, Alex Whitfield, chief executive of HHFT, which will provide the bulk of the funding for the Cancer Treatment Centre, has confirmed that it will still go ahead, and she has expressed her thanks and gratitude for the amazing support for the fundraising campaign.

“All involved in the Cancer Treatment Centre project will now look at progressing our alternative option plans. We will all do our utmost to secure the best outcome for the people in the HHFT area who deserve, and need, access to the best possible cancer care in the best possible environment.

“I would like to take this opportunity to again express my thanks and gratitude to everyone who has supported Ark Cancer Centre Charity and the Cancer Treatment Centre project. The crucial fundraising campaign will continue as the plans for the Cancer Treatment Centre advance, and the ongoing support of local people is vital and much appreciated.

“I am hopeful, and confident, that significant progress will be made over the coming months, and I have no doubt that Ark Cancer Centre Charity and its supporters will continue to play a key role in delivering a Cancer Treatment Centre that will make a massive difference to the lives of many local people.” 

With thanks and best wishes

Merv Rees, Ark Cancer Centre Charity Trustee