Publish date: 07 February 2022

Secretary of State Rt. Hon. Sajid Javid MP with Chief Executive David Probert, in the atrium area of the Grafton Way Building.

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Sajid Javid came to University College Hospital Grafton Way Building on Friday 4 February 2022.

He met staff working in our national proton beam therapy (PBT) centre on the lower floors of the building and heard them explain how this new service will make a difference to people with cancers which are hard to treat.

He also heard about the haematology inpatient service on the upper floors which opened last month and is one of the largest centres in Europe.

UCLH chief executive David Probert said he was proud to be able to show the secretary of state the remarkable achievements of UCLH staff in ensuring that the building opened despite the pandemic

“It was a privilege to show the Secretary of State our new PBT centre at UCLH. This is one of several cancer services at UCLH, where we treat patients from across England as well as our local population.

“We work with several research partners, including UCL, and we are delighted to be able to provide our patients with the very latest treatments including the opportunity to join clinical trials to develop new ways of managing their cancer.”

PBT is a type of radiotherapy which can target tumours with millimetre accuracy, limiting the impact on the surrounding healthy tissue. Patients treated with PBT range from very young children to adults who have cancers in areas which are difficult to treat. These may be tumours in the brain, on the spine, or near the reproductive organs, where it is particularly important to protect the surrounding tissue.

Around a third of patients will be children and teenagers. The treatment course takes around six weeks, with people staying in nearby accommodation and visiting the centre as outpatients each day. 

PBT has been funded on the NHS since 2008, but patients were sent abroad for treatment. It was only when the Christie’s £125 million centre opened in late 2018 that patients could be treated in the UK. The centre in the Grafton Way Building opened in 2021 and between them, the two centres will treat up to 1,300 patients every year.

You can read more about UCLH’s cancer services on our website.