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News Report Page 7 of 26
Publication Date:- 2018-31-03
News reports located on this page = 2.

The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre celebrates its 60th Birthday

THE Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, on 28 March 2018, have celebrated 60 years of caring for people with cancer.

Staff at the Hospital, on the Wirral, as well as at Trust Centres in Aintree, Liverpool and Chemotherapy Clinics in the Region, celebrated the Diamond Anniversary with a suitably sparkle theme.

They donned glittery wigs and make up, bringing a party atmosphere to the Wards and Clinics, while senior staff served them with birthday cake.

The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre was officially opened, on 28 March 1958, by Lord Cohen of Birkenhead, who was the most prominent physician in the land at the time.

The origins of the Centre can be traced back more than a century to the Liverpool Hospital for Cancer and Diseases of the Skin, which was established by Surgeon James Seaton Smythe, in 1862, in Islington, Liverpool.

7 years later he bequeathed the Hospital the sum of ₤10,000 and in 1882 the Hospital moved to a new site in nearby Myrtle Street and was renamed The Radium Institute.

In the early 1950's, Liverpool was struggling to re-build after the war in a climate of fear about radiation and atomic war along with the UK Government decision to take radiotherapy away from built up areas.

The green spaces of Clatterbridge, on the Wirral, adjacent to the General Hospital, were the preferred site and the Regional Radiotherapy Centre opened. There were various extensions and name changes over the subsequent decades before the Hospital became known as The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust, in 2012.

On 28 March 2018 more than 27,000 patients have been treated every year from:- Merseyside, Cheshire and the wider Region, and pioneering treatments like proton beam therapy for eye cancer are carried out.

The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre is currently constructing a brand new specialist Hospital in Liverpool City Centre and planning improvements to the Wirral site.

Acting Chief Executive Barney Schofield said:- "We are very proud to be celebrating the 60th Birthday of The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre. It is a day to recognise the fabulous efforts of the dedicated and selfless staff and volunteers who make this Hospital the special place it is. We are very proud of our 60 year legacy here in Wirral and we want to keep hold of that as we move into the future."

Lost Photos help Clatterbridge Cancer Centre to celebrate its achievements

A doctor has told how he uncovered a treasure trove of photographs of The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, by chance while bidding in an online auction for travel pictures. Chris Studds, a GP in Cheshire, discovered the collection while buying images of the Far East to display in a themed garden he was developing. The fascinating pictures show the Hospital in Wirral in its very earliest days after cancer services were transferred from Liverpool to Clatterbridge, with the official opening exactly 50 years ago.

Post war fears over radiation prompted health chiefs to make the switch to Wirral and the Hospital was officially opened as the Regional Radiotherapy Centre, on a very snowy 28 March 1958, by Lord Cohen of Birkenhead, the most prominent physician in England at the time. As the Hospital celebrates its Diamond Anniversary, the pictures show how far cancer treatment has developed in 60 years.

Dr Studds said:- "In 2005 as a family we bought a derelict Silk Mill in Macclesfield. We had loved watching the TV programme Grand Designs and decided to sell up and lived on a field for 3 years, in mobile homes, whilst the renovations were carried out.  The renovation has produced 3 holiday cottages and an indoor garden looking at the Silk Roads, the routes that led from Asia to Europe. As part of that I was bidding for some travel pictures on eBay and the Clatterbridge pictures were found among the collection, by chance. I had a feeling that they might be of interest and it is a lovely coincidence that this year is the 60th Birthday of the Hospital and staff and patients can see the very origins of the treatment they have now."

The images include staff working on the very 1st linear accelerator that was used for radiotherapy treatment, a physicist operating a control panel and a planigraph that was used to take x-ray photographs.

There are also several exterior shots of the Unit and Hospital Gates. 1 particularly striking image shows nurses in their uniforms standing to attention in a guard of honour to welcome Lord Cohen of Birkenhead.

The images form part of a display unveiled in the Hospital to celebrate its 60th Birthday.  If you have any photographs or footage that you would like to share with the Hospital, please do get in contact with them.

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