Work to start on blood cancer centre

Cure Leukaemia and Pinnegar Hayward Design lead expansion of Centre for Clinical Haematology at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham

James McLaughlin of Cure Leukaemia and Simon Wills of PHD Architects outside the soon-to-be-expanded centre

The £3.2 m expansion of a world-class haematology centre of excellence, which is leading the global fight against blood cancer, is set to get underway in Birmingham next month.

Cure Leukaemia has made a commitment to raising an additional £1m during 2017 to ensure the expanded Centre for Clinical Haematology (CCH) at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital - part of University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust - is fully funded.

In designing the expanded centre we have tried to create a place that is comfortable and less clinical than a typical hospital for patients undergoing treatments

The project, which has been driven by Cure Leukaemia co-founder, Professor Charlie Craddock CBE, is being delivered by Birmingham-based Pinnegar Hayward Design (PHD) Architects.

Work will start on site on 22 May and the centre is due to re-open to patients in November.

Since the CCH was opened in 2006 by patrons Geoff Thomas and Ashley Giles MBE, patients have been able to access a portfolio of over 60 ground-breaking clinical trials that were not available through standard care.

By delivering these often-world-first trials to patients who have exhausted standard treatments, they have not only save lives, but also contributed to the global understanding and treatment of blood cancer.

The success of this highly-effective clinical trials programme has resulted in the centre running at maximum capacity.

The expansion, however, will double its footprint, allowing the continued growth of this world-class programme.

Simon Wills, lead architect at PHD Architects, who has worked within the health sector for 20 years, said: “The Centre for Clinical Haematology is a very-special place that has touched the lives of many people since it opened.

“It is leading the fight against blood cancers and it is something that Birmingham people should be very proud of.

Not only will it immediately increase the number of lives saved, but also hasten global progress towards establishing effective treatments for all blood cancers within our lifetime

“In designing the expanded centre we have tried to create a place that is comfortable and less clinical than a typical hospital for patients undergoing treatments.

“Many of the patients have weakened immune systems and we have, therefore, had to make sure that maintaining a sterile environment is a high priority.

“It is very exciting to see work about to start on site. It is going to be a wonderful addition to the hospital and will help Professor Charlie Craddock and his team deliver results that could have a positive impact, globally, on thousands of blood cancer patients and their families.”

Cure Leukaemia officially launched its £1m Centre Appeal in January.

Professor Craddock CBE said: “Once established, the centre’s capacity for research nurse positions, clinical trials, and patients treated will be doubled.

“Over 100 jobs will also be created, further enhancing Birmingham’s reputation for clinical excellence in the life science sector and patient experience will be transformed by amalgamating all haematology and blood cancer services into a single space, from outpatient services to clinical trials.

“These are just some of the benefits that the centre’s development will enable.

This vital and transformational expansion will ensure more and more patients are able to access the life-saving treatments I was lucky enough to benefit from

“Not only will it immediately increase the number of lives saved, but also hasten global progress towards establishing effective treatments for all blood cancers within our lifetime.“

And blood cancer patient and architect, Igor Kolodotschko, who is treated by Professor Charlie Craddock at the centre, said: “I have had two FMC MUD stem cell transplants to treat my Angioimmunoblastic T-Cell Lymphoma, the second of which has put the cancer in remission.

“The clinics I attended at the centre were always so busy and you could tell there were just too many patients for the staff to cope with and not enough space to comfortably house them.

“I am sure this vital and transformational expansion will ensure these pressures are placed firmly in the past and more and more patients are able to access the life-saving treatments I was lucky enough to benefit from."

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