New cancer treatment centre opens in Carlisle on the site of the Cumberland Infirmary

A new cancer centre on the site of the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle opened its doors today.

This comes following an investment of £35m and two years of building work.

The Northern Centre for Cancer Care, North Cumbria - run in a partnership between Newcastle Hospitals and North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust (NCIC) - brings all non-surgical cancer services under the same roof.

This means people who need to these services in north Cumbria will be able to access the receive their care locally.

Only patients with rare cancers, requiring very specialist treatment, as well as children and young people with cancer will keep being referred to the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.

Around 2,000 patients are already set to receive treatment or follow-up care at the new centre with approximately 1,200 new referrals each year. The team also expects to deliver approximately 11,500 radiotherapy treatments and 8,000 chemotherapy treatments, as well as 4,000 supportive therapy treatments, a year.

Kiyla Murray, matron for chemotherapy services at Newcastle Hospitals, said:

Interior of the new Northern Centre for Cancer Care, North Cumbria Credit: Newcastle Hospitals

The building will be managed by NCIC and services at the centre will be run by Newcastle Hospitals as part of the Northern Centre for Cancer Care. In April, around 80 members of staff from North Cumbria’s non-surgical oncology service joined the Newcastle team.

Dame Jackie Daniel, Chief Executive at Newcastle Hospitals said: “We’re delighted to have welcomed our first patients at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care, North Cumbria.

“The centre looks fantastic and all of the teams involved have worked incredibly hard to make sure this is a calm and comfortable environment for our patients.

“The development of the centre demonstrates our commitment to providing high quality and sustainable cancer services to people across north Cumbria and supporting patients to receive care closer to home.” 

Lyn Simpson, Chief Executive at NCIC, said: “I know many people have closely watched the progress of the centre since construction began and it is excellent to see the building now complete and welcoming patients. The opening of the centre in partnership with Newcastle Hospitals is a real milestone in our journey to improve cancer services for patients across north Cumbria.”