BREAKING: Velindre cancer centre approved for Whitchurch site
The Whitchurch Hospital site has been the subject of public debate and protest
A NEW cancer hospital will be built close to the existing one in Cardiff after approval from Welsh health minister Vaughan Gething.
After being given planning permission in 2017, the decision on exactly where to build the new Velindre Cancer Centre was ultimately handed to the Welsh health minister.
The minister had come under pressure from campaigners who wanted to protect the Northern Meadows site in Whitchurch and instead build the new centre next to the Heath Hospital.
The campaigners had also been boosted by a letter signed by 163 clinicians who called on the minister to build the new centre at the Heath site.
In a statement this morning, Mr Gething said: “Our current Velindre Cancer Centre has delivered exceptional service to people for many decades. It is known as a special place by those people who have needed its crucial support at one of the most difficult times in their lives.
“But like all buildings, there comes a time when we have to look to the future and ensure that people can continue to get the best possible care for the decades ahead.
“The new centre is expected to open its doors in 2025 and will be the centre-piece of plans for delivering high quality cancer services in south east Wales. It will operate as part of an integrated network of care across the region and include closer working with other hospitals.
“As we move to the new Velindre, we must ensure we build on that incredible spirit that has grown up around Velindre that gives so many of our patients and their families the hope and support they are looking for.”
Velindre University NHS Trust Chief Executive Steve Ham said: ‘The approval is an important moment for cancer services for the people of south east Wales. It provides a once in a generation opportunity to transform the services we offer in partnership with our patients, UHB partners, academic partners and the third sector.
“We will continue to put patients’ needs and safety at the heart of everything we do as we progress our plans, building on our proud history.”
The hospital is to be built on land which is known as the Northern Meadows, and plans have caused much protest and debate in recent months.
Member of the Senedd for Cardiff North, Julie Morgan, said: “There is urgent need for new cancer care facilities across South East Wales.
“I understand the feelings of the residents who have campaigned against the new cancer centre being built on the northern meadows land.
“I want to continue to listen to constituents’ views on the plans and work together to get the best possible outcome for both the community in Whitchurch and for cancer patients.”