In celebration of his decade of being President of The Royal Marsden, the Duke of Cambridge visited their Sutton Hospital yesterday (16th May). This gave Prince William a chance to meet up with the staff he has met through the years on his visits and to see new equipment which will start being used later this year to hopefully reduce side-effects and make patient’s treatment more effective.
The Duke visited the UK’s first Magnetic Resonance Linear Accelerator (MR Linac), a state-of-the-art radiotherapy machine which is set to make treatment more effective and reduce side effects for patients. The first Royal Marsden patients are due to be treated with the machine in late 2017, initially through clinical studies in hard-to-treat cancer types. Senior staff led by Dr Alison Tree, Consultant Clinical Oncologist at The Royal Marsden showed him how the new equipment would benefit patients.
Chief Executive Cally Palmer said: “We were delighted to welcome our President back to the hospital in Sutton today. We are very grateful for his continued support for our patients and for the work we do at The Royal Marsden. By giving him the opportunity to be hands on, this particular visit was uplifting, inspiring and fun for both patients and staff. Over the last 10 years it has been a pleasure to show The Duke the work that takes place on a daily basis at our hospital, from complex and pioneering research to providing compassionate care and treatment for our patients.”
Prince William first spent time at the Royal Marsden in 2005, when he spent two days, work experience working with staff at both sites. By using skills, he learnt then and during his time with the Air Ambulance, he could work with employees during his visit. The Duke called in the 44-year-old patient, Simon White, for treatment on the Trust’s newest linear accelerator machine, helped prepare Simon for his treatment and supported staff in the control room. He shadowed and assisted Dr Imogen Locke, Consultant Clinical Oncologist, and Superintendent Radiographer Steven Landeg, before moving on to the Oak Centre.
The Oak Centre for Children and Young People had been officially opened by the Duke, accompanied by the Duchess of Cambridge in 2011. During today’s visit to the Day Care Unit. He called young patients for treatment and helped the nurses, Rosie Formella and Jolene Bull, check blood pressure. He then went to the Arts & Crafts room where he met four young patients and their parents.
Before leaving the Royal Marsden, Chief Executive Cally Palmer, and Professor Martin Gore, Consultant Medical Oncologist and Trustee of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, presented The Duke with a photo book to celebrate his ten years as President. The role of President was one which had previously been held by his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.