A message for the future 

03/10/2017 00:00 
A time capsule filled with messages for the future has been buried in the basement of UCLH’s new cancer and surgery facility in central London.


The new centre will transform care for cancer and surgery patients when it opens in 2020.  In the floors below ground, the centre will house one of two NHS high energy proton beam therapy centres, meaning that cancer patients who would otherwise have to travel overseas will be able to receive this precise form of radiotherapy closer to home.

The content of the time capsule has been developed with patients and staff from UCLH including Stanley Blyth (10) and Varun Mahatme (13) who both had proton beam therapy in America as part of the NHS overseas treatment programme. 

As special guests at the ceremony, they were joined by fellow UCLH patients, Debbie Holmes (14) and Chloe Field (10). Together they placed the mementos they had drawn, written and filmed into the time capsule for future generations to see in 50 years’ time.

Varun Mahatme said: “I made a video interviewing the builders who are constructing the proton beam therapy centre as it was being built. I think it is amazing to have it sealed away for 50 years for me and other people to view in 2067”.

Stanley said: “I am really excited that people will get to see my letter and drawings in 50 years’ time, when I’ll be 60.”

Debbie said: “I have made an origami flower decorated with all of my favourite things and I think that it will be fantastic to open the capsule in 50 years’ time”.

The time capsule has been buried with an instruction to open it in 2067.

Marcel Levi, Chief Executive of UCLH said: “Today we are making history with an eye on the future. Over the next 50 years, I am optimistic that we will see people living longer, healthier lives and, when they need it, receive kinder, less invasive treatments than we are able to provide now. Our new facility, providing proton beam therapy, and treatment for blood disorders and surgery services, is a great step on that journey.”

TV presenter and UCLH doctor Chris Van Tulleken was also part of the group burying the capsule. He said: “I can see the construction site from my lab bench and have watched the building develop from the start. It is emblematic of the sort of medicine that we aspire to at UCLH: world class, high tech and compassionate.”

In the floors above the PBT centre, the facility will house Europe’s largest centre for the treatment of blood disorders and a short stay surgery service. 


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