The Rigby Foundation has donated £500,000 to champion innovative cancer care in South Warwickshire at the new Stratford Hospital.
The Rigby Unit is situated within the £22 million hospital, which will be run by the South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust, in Arden Street.
The Rigby Foundation has donated £250,000 to create a new dedicated cancer unit which will be named The Rigby Unit as well as creating and sponsoring the annual Rigby Awards to encourage better ways of delivering cancer care in the local community.
In the Rigby Unit, 12 chemotherapy treatment chairs, two emergency treatment rooms, an outpatient facility including counselling rooms, a complementary therapy room and a multi-disciplinary team room have been built.
Emergency cancer patients will also now be seen in a specialist unit on one floor of the new Stratford Hospital rather than using the hospital’s accident and emergency services.
The first Rigby Awards for 2016 went to five successful projects put forward by medical staff within the South Warwickshire NHS Trust which improved cancer treatment and care locally and ranged from the first-time chemotherapy is provided at home, to exploring the link between breast cancer and vitamin D deficiency.
Sir Peter Rigby, who is a trustee of The Rigby Foundation, believes the new unit will increase accessibility for cancer patients living in South Warwickshire.
Sir Peter said: “Previously, Stratford Hospital wasn’t able to provide chemotherapy on-site for patients which meant they had to travel to Warwick Hospital which could be difficult particularly for those needing treatment on a daily basis.
“The opening of the new cancer unit will change that for the better and hopefully will bring a lasting and telling improvement for local people.
“The Rigby Foundation firmly believes in businesses supporting the communities in which we operate and we wanted to help the new Stratford Hospital provide the best possible facilities for people diagnosed with cancer.
“Our partnership will also provide the support needed for clinical teams to take part in cutting-edge research and development as well as trial new treatments for patients.
“This is a long-term commitment from The Rigby Foundation and looking round the hospital, I am proud of the part we have played in the opening of a state-of-the-art facility.
“After meeting staff and seeing the facilities, we hope the new cancer unit will become a centre of excellence in South Warwickshire to improve treatment and care in the area.”