Fifty years ago HRH Princess Anne officially opened Weston Park Hospital as it was then known. It marked a milestone in the development of specialist cancer services for our region and indeed nationally.
The occasion was accompanied by much fanfare and broadcast to staff inside the hospital on closed circuit TVs. Twenty-five years later, in 1995, the pioneering spirit of the Centre was recognised again when it became a designated Cancer Centre for the region – a centre of excellence which it remains to this day.
Due to COVID-19 we are unable to celebrate this golden anniversary in the way we would have wanted. However, over the coming week we’ll be showcasing some of the many wonderful services, facilities and of course past and present colleagues in a series of special profiles on our Trust social media channels.
We’ll also be marking the half-century by telling the story of some of our amazing and inspirational patients, some of whom have gone on to survive cancer for more than 20 years. I’m sure, like me, you’ll be touched and amazed by their remarkable stories and how the care, kindness and innovation of the Weston Park team literally saved their lives.
Weston Park has always played a vital role in spearheading advances in cancer treatment. For example in 1995, we were one of the first centres in the UK to start using CT in radiotherapy to ensure greater accuracy of identification of the position of tumours. Our researchers have also helped bring many new treatments to routine care through clinical trials, including a bone strengthening drug that is now used for all women undergoing treatment of postmenopausal breast cancer.
I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to making Weston Park one of the leading cancer centres in the NHS. There are also considerable thanks to all of the other colleagues who work incredibly closely with Weston Park including our amazing Weston Park Cancer Charity and colleagues from the University of Sheffield who are all critical to the ongoing delivery of exceptional clinical care and research.
Kindest regards and happy 50th anniversary Weston Park Cancer Centre.
Kirsten Major, Chief Executive, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust