THE new North West Cancer Centre will welcome its first patients on Monday – and these are the faces of the staff who will greet and help treat them.
The existing services offered at Tamworth hospital, including medical oncology and haemotology and the cancer clinics, will begin operating from the centre first.
The $41.7 million facility includes four extra chemotherapy chairs and space for family, carers and friends to sit with patients while they receive treatment.
Radiation therapy – which is being offered for the first time in the region in the new cancer centre – is on schedule to begin treating patients by the middle of the year.
Staff are undertaking commissioning of the equipment until that time.
About 20 existing staff from cancer services finished moving into the centre yesterday ahead of the start of treatment.
Construction of the centre was completed in December.
The new facility will increase the region’s capacity to treat its cancer patients closer to home, giving relatives and patients greater peace of mind.
The incidence of cancer cases in the region is forecast to grow to more than 1000 by 2016, up from 894 in 2011.
The old clinic building and chemotherapy unit, along with other buildings, will be demolished in coming months to make way for the new hospital building.