THE FIRST brick on the £22million extension of Stratford Hospital has been laid.
Building work on the car park began back in December but the milestone brick placed on Tuesday (June 30) marks the official start of the project to create a new cancer and eye ward at the existing hospital site on Arden Street.
The next stage will see the main hospital building developed with the top floor housing the cancer ward, which will be modelled on Warwick Hospital’s Aylesford Unit and is set to include 12 treatment chairs.
The first floor meanwhile, will contain an eye unit made up of eight outpatient consulting rooms, three treatment rooms and a theatre as well as a dedicated waiting area for children.
Jayne Blacklay, director of development, said: “It is very exciting to see the first brick going down for the new hospital.
“This development is going to make such a difference for local communities and I am delighted more people will have access to vital health care services because of it.”
Hospital chiefs hope the new facilities will make life easier for patients in south Warwickshire and have launched a £1million appeal in a bid to fund everything from specialist chemotherapy chairs to iPads that do not come as standard.
Within six months of its launch, fund-raisers had already collected £100,000 towards the appeal and it was given a further boost in March after The Rigby Foundation agreed to donate £250,000 as well as pledging £50,000 towards research and development for each of the next five years.
The cash injection will allow patients to have access to the newest treatments and bosses believe the new facilities will help the hospital become a centre of excellence for cancer treatment.
And in April Stratford Town Trust chiefs announced they would commit £100,000 to the appeal, as long as the overall total – which currently stands at £428,000 – reaches at least £500,000 in 2016.
The grant will be used to fund the complementary therapy room in the cancer unit and the children’s waiting area in the eye unit.
Plans are also in the pipeline for a host of fund-raising events in the coming months including a masquerade ball on September 26. The event, which is set to include entertainment and a five course meal, will be held at Alne Park in Great Alne with tickets priced at £110 per person or £1,000 for a table of ten.
Representatives from the appeal team will also be at the River Festival this weekend as well as the Home and Gardens Show from July 16 to 19 – both of which are taking place on the Stratford Recreation Ground.
Plans for the hospital were officially given the green light by Stratford District Council back in October with the overall building project expected to last two years.
Anyone wanting to fund-raise can email [email protected] or call 01926 495321 extension 8049.
Visit www.stratfordhospital.co.uk for further information about the appeal.