Posted on October 19, 2016

Ireland’s first cancer centre to set gold standard in cancer patient care

The intention to develop a new cancer institute was jointly announced by Trinity College Dublin and St James’s Hospital at the launch of Cancer Week today. The first of its kind in Ireland, the new cancer institute will set a new standard for cancer care nationally, integrating medicine and science in cancer prevention, treatment and survivorship. Based on similar leading international models, it will be located in one designated facility at St James’s Hospital.

Cancer in Ireland is projected to double by 2040 with increases in all types of cancer. The population need for the development is therefore acute.

Provost of Trinity College Dublin, Dr Patrick Prendergast said: “The cancer institute will consolidate our strengths in clinical and scientific research for the ultimate benefit of patient care. It will deliver substantially improved outcomes for cancer patients by providing research-led diagnosis and treatment, and promoting a better understanding of cancer through interdisciplinary research.”

“We will be educating the next generation of cancer clinicians, health professionals and scientists. Both Trinity and St James’s Hospital share a long history together training medical doctors, nurses and health professionals who have treated the people of Dublin and Ireland with expertise and dedication. With this new institute we intend to lead the way in innovative new cancer treatment.”

St James’s Hospital CEO, Lorcan Birthistle said: “This cancer centre will place research, education and treatment side by side which is in line with the model for the very best cancer centres internationally. The best outcomes for patients are achieved in centres that combine high volume and highly specialised evidence based cancer care with scientific and technological advances. This exciting joint development between Trinity College and St James’s will achieve this goal.”

Trinity and St James’s Hospital have been scaling up for the new cancer institute with the recruitment of key new clinical academic and research appointments in oncology. Accreditation for the new institute is also being sought from the Organisation of European Cancer Institutes that sets the gold standard for leading cancer institutes in Europe. It will benchmark performance against international standards and direct the cancer services and research to the next level.

Minister for Health, Simon Harris said: “I welcome this association between the health sector and third level education on cancer care involved in the collaboration between Trinity College Dublin and St James’s Hospital. Such combined working holds great potential to ultimately benefit the patient experience.”

The announcement was made at the opening of the International Cancer Conference at Trinity College Dublin as part of Cancer Week. It was made ahead of the government publication of the National Strategy on Cancer.

Cancer – the Irish context

The National Cancer Registry estimates that the incidence of cancer in Ireland will increase by 50% in 2025 (compared with 2010) and by 100% in 2040 based on population changes. While there have been improvements in cancer care in Ireland over recent years, most indicators show survivorship rates for many cancer types remain lower than in comparable developed countries.

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