S.U.R.E. Somerset Unit for Radiotherapy Equipment

Beacon Centre

Beacon Centre facilities

  • 3 linear accelerators (machines that deliver radiotherapy treatment)

  • CT simulator (funded by SURE)

  • 14 bed inpatient ward

  • 24 chair/bed day unit delivering chemotherapy and other supportive treatments

  • out patient and complementary therapy facilities

  • café area

Musgrove Park Hospital’s Beacon Centre opened for patients in May 2009. It means that approximately 1,500 cancer patients each year will no longer need to travel the long distance to Bristol for their radiotherapy treatment.

It has made Musgrove Park Hospital, run by Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, a centre of excellence in the delivery of cancer treatments for the people of Somerset.

Until the opening of the Beacon Centre local patients had to travel to Bristol for their radiotherapy and some chemotherapy treatments. This is a return a journey of up to 150 miles for some patients. Radiotherapy is often given on a daily basis for several weeks.

Consequently we knew that sadly some patients felt that this was a journey they could not endure, and as a result actually declined treatment. This alone applied to about 100 patients a year. The opening of the Beacon Centre has meant that these patients can now have the treatment they need in a purpose-built building closer to where they live.

The Beacon Centre was the first completely new development of its kind in the UK for nearly 15 years, partly made possible by the massive support of the local community, who raised over a million pounds towards equipment. This includes support from individuals and the following charities:

  • Somerset Unit for Radiotherapy (S.U.R.E.)

  • Musgrove Leukaemic Group Support

  • We are Macmillan Cancer Support

  • St Margaret’s Support Groups who offer patient and carer support

The building has been designed with the following objectives in mind:

  • To improve the patient’s experience, by delivering treatment in a calm, safe and reassuring environment. Thereby reducing stress and promoting well being.

  • To improve the workplace, by ensuring the environment endorses an efficient image, that aids the delivery of excellent professional care. The development also supports the smart and intelligent use of state of the art technology – all of which as a positive motivational effect on our workforce.

  • To provide a rural Centre of Excellence. Giving a sense of local pride and achievement.

Donations to the Beacon Centre have enabled the provision of equipment, furnishings and artwork to enhance the patients’  experience, whilst undergoing treatment within the Beacon Centre, over and above that which it would have otherwise been possible to provide.  Continued donation will ensure that further up to date equipment can be purchased in the future.

Early in 2010 the Beacon Centre received a prestigious award from Macmillan Cancer Support for the facilities/environment the building provides to its patients.

In December 2010 the Beacon Centre took delivery of “Bumble” a mobile unit provided by the charity Hope for Tomorrow and supported by Musgrove Leukaemic Group (Somerset). Operational from March 2010 Bumble will be taken out into the community to provide chemotherapy treatments to suitable patients nearer their homes.