Rishi Sunak joined a celebration to mark the start of building work on the £10m Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre at the Friarage Hospital, Northallerton, as part of the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning.
The annual Macmillan Cancer Support charity event this year coincided with construction getting underway on the new multi-million pound cancer centre at the hospital, which is being funded by local philanthropist Sir Robert Ogden, Macmillan and South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
The Richmond MP joined Macmillan volunteers and Friarage Hospital staff and patients to raise a mug to the project as work started.
Also present were Lady Halifax, president of Macmillan Cancer Support, Siobhan McArdle, chief executive of the South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Richmond cancer patient Brian Durlick.
Rishi Sunak MP said it was “incredibly exciting” to see this new development taking shape at the Northallerton Hospital and welcomed the “generous donation” of Sir Robert and Lady Ogden.
He said: “It will mean that cancer treatment here is going to get even better, which is great for the local community.”
Siobhan McArdle said: “This new development, which staff and patients will see beginning to take shape over the coming months, demonstrates our long-term commitment to delivering clinically safe and sustainable services to the people of Hambleton, Richmondshire, Whitby and the surrounding area from the hospital.”
Lady Halifax added: “This would not have happened without the huge support of Sir Robert and Lady Ogden, who have been so generous to us over the years and who are supporting us yet again in this really exciting project.”
The centre will cost in the region of £10m, providing a modern, state-of-the-art facility for cancer patients, their carers’ and relatives and include a chemotherapy treatment lounge with capacity to treat up to 35 patients a day, complementary therapy facilities and treatment and consulting rooms.
A Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Centre and supporting accommodation for patients, which will include telemedicine facilities, will also be key features of the development.
Brian Durlik, 57, of Richmond, who underwent both surgical and chemotherapy treatment for bowel cancer in 2016, was a special guest at the event.
His cancer diagnosis also led to the discovery of a faulty aortic valve, upon which he had successful heart surgery earlier this year.
Mr Durlik said: “The Macmillan Centre which is being built at Northallerton will be of enormous benefit to patients, as it will provide a place where anyone who is affected by cancer, directly or indirectly, can openly discuss and get advice from a highly competent and very dedicated team of Macmillan nurses."