Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly joined staff and supporters at Hinchingbrooke Hospital last Thursday to hear about progress on the new £2.4 million cancer centre.

The Macmillan Woodlands Centre, due to open next year, will increase the capacity for treatment, bring outpatient oncology services together, improve conditions for staff and provide a sensory garden and new chemotherapy suites. Over the past two years, 
£1.2million has been raised and in February this year, Hinchingbrooke joined forces with Macmillan to launch an appeal to raise a further £1.2m and building work started in March.

Mr Djanogly was taken on a tour of the building site and updated on progress.

He said: “The building has moved on a long way from when I came to see the first spade being dug into the ground.

“Clearly this centre is going to make a huge contribution to improving local treatment for cancer patients.”

Mr Djanogly was joined by Lynda Hall, Macmillan lead nurse for cancer and palliative care at Hinchingbrooke Hospital. Lynda, who has worked at the trust since 1995, said: “I’ve seen the number of people coming through the centre grow and grow, so the plans to expand and improve the centre will make a huge difference for staff and patients alike.”

The new centre is being designed to cope with an increase in patients and to remove the need for people to travel to other hospitals or other areas of Hinchingbrooke for stages of their treatment.

Plans include a new reception and information areas, a sensory garden and space for complementary therapies, as well as a cafe.

Lance McCarthy, interim chief executive at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, added: “We are committed to providing the very best care for our patients, which is why we have invested so much in the new cancer centre.”

Mary Dowglass, Macmillan development manager for Cambridgeshire, said: “More than 5,600 people in Huntingdon and the surrounding area are currently living with or beyond cancer and this number is set to double by 2030. This means it’s more important than ever that we strive to ensure that services are ready for the future and provided in the very best environment.”

Also included on the tour was Jenny Fowler, representing Cromwell Golf Club, in St Neots, who have raised £4,500 for the centre.

INFORMATION: Support the fundraising appeal can call on 0300 1000 200 or log on to www.macmillan.org.uk/hinchingbrooke

Local business interested in supporting the appeal are invited to join the Woodlands Business Champions Club. Email: fundraising@macmillan.org.uk for more information.