WORK has started on the construction of a £5 million Cancer Care Centre at Wigan Infirmary.

Cancer sufferers will benefit from treatment closer to home with the intention to develop a joint service there with The Christie providing chemotherapy.

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust has teamed up with The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Macmillan Cancer Support and Salford Royal Foundation Trust, to provide a state of the art Cancer Care Centre. It will feature purpose built clinical accommodation, 12 chemotherapy treatment patient areas, counselling facilities, a complementary therapy suite and a new Macmillan Information and Support facility plus a Pathology Essential Services Laboratory (CCC-ESL)

“The new Cancer Care Centre at the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary will ensure fast access to effective, safe and convenient patient-centred cancer treatment and care in an NHS facility designed specifically to meet the needs of local patients and staff, including one stop chemotherapy treatment,” said WWL Trust Director of Strategy, Silas Nicholls.

The ground floor Centre will have direct access from the main hospital car park. The aim is to improve services for cancer patients by reducing the burden of travelling to Manchester for treatment.

“A significant number of cancer patients currently travel to The Christie for their treatments. When the new Cancer Care Centre opens, we plan to offer some patients who currently travel to south Manchester the choice of being treated in Wigan,” said Dan Pearce, WWL Manager for Cancer Care.

“We anticipate the large majority of patients will choose to be treated closer to home, so it vital to ensure local patients receiving their cancer treatment and care here in Wigan do so in a purpose built, high quality facility."

It is part of a £70 million programme to redevelop and improve its three hospital sites Wrightington, Leigh and Wigan and is scheduled to open in September 2014. Staff at the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary managed in the region of 1,500 chemotherapy appointments in 2012, treating 137 local residents for a range of breast, bowel and other cancers.