Guy’s Cancer Centre: colocated and amazing

Take a look at this video describing the colocated cancer centre at Guy’s Hospital in London.

The planners at Guy’s recognised that patients were receiving their care from many different locations over two sites, ‘and it was exhausting’.

New Velindre Leadership say that there’s just no room to build a colocated centre on the UHW site. They say the build in Whitchurch will provide a better patient experience, despite the risks and stress of patient transfers.

For Guy’s, people come first

Guy’s Leaders recognised that people come first, and rose to the challenges of creating a truly healing building on a tiny site (0.51 acres, or 0.2 hectares) in the middle of central London. They’ve turned the tiny footprint to their advantage. Dedicated ‘villages’ each have their own outdoor terrace space.

Radiotherapy is provided above ground level, and patients confirm the feeling of space and calm we would all wish for on walking into a cancer centre for our treatment.

Patients needing acute care can be looked after on site, with no need for ambulance transfer. Patients with other illnesses can have their cared shared between specialists in the same hospital.

The unit opened in 2016 and cost £160m- a small fraction of the the projected cost of the new Velindre.

Who comes first in Cardiff?

There’s very little argument that colocated cancer centres have huge clinical advantages over stand- alone centres. The Nuffield Trust themselves provided a long list of advantages as an appendix to the advice New Velindre asked them for. You can read about that here

Despite these advantages, Nuffield concluded there was no room at UHW for a colocated cancer centre. According to the Nuffield, colocation would need 6 hectares, (14 acres). We don’t know where the figure of 14 acres came from, though we may wish to speculate. We also don’t know what checks the Nuffield Trust ran to see how realistic the figure they were given was.

But we can say for sure that the team in Guys only needed half an acre. That’s right, they could have built their superb cancer centre 28 times over in a space the size Velindre apparently needs.

So we ask- who comes first in Cardiff- patients or New Velindre leadership?