From Andrew House, Head of Fundraising DCH
On 23rd March 2015, I started work at Dorset County Hospital Charity as Head of Fundraising. A strategy has been developed and the first major part of this is to fundraise for the development of the new West Dorset Cancer Centre. It became clear to me very early on that the Fortuneswell Cancer Trust has been one of the most faithful and generous donors to cancer services at Dorset County Hospital (DCH).
When launching a large capital campaign it is always important to have some leadership gifts and Fortuneswell Cancer Trust made the first pledge and also the first donation to the West Dorset Cancer Centre Campaign. As David has already mentioned you have already donated £100,000 in 2015/16 and have pledged a further £100,000 for 2016/17 making your contribution over 11% of the total campaign target. This is a tremendous leadership gift and the perfect way to launch the campaign.
We are now about to embark on one of the most exciting projects at the hospital for some time. This is to develop the West Dorset Cancer Centre. Radiotherapy services are coming to Dorchester in partnership with Poole Hospital. Funding for the radiotherapy equipment and building, which are central to the overall project (£7.4m) has been secured. Plans are now being developed for the Outpatients department to be built on top of the radiotherapy area, and secondly to reconfigure the Chemotherapy suite. Creating more spacious and bespoke outpatients and chemotherapy units at the same time will transform the experience of patients and will enable us to bring counselling and support services to benefit cancer patients. It will create a world class Cancer Centre for the people of West Dorset, will cost £1.76m and will take two years to complete. This will be totally charitably funded as the NHS does not have funding for this development.
The range of cancers that will now be able to be treated include early breast, Prostate, Lung, Bladder, Myeloma, Lymphoma, Rectal and Endometrial cancers as well as palliative care. This dedicated cancer outpatient facility at DCH will ensure patients and families affected by cancer and haematological disease can be cared for in a comfortable, aesthetically calm and suitable environment closer to their home.
We are tremendously grateful to the supporters of Fortuneswell Cancer Trust and look forward to working in partnership with you on this significant project for the people of West Dorset.