Senator David Norris and the women of the Sea of Change choir (the golden buzzer act on Ireland’s Got Talent) today (14.03.19) launched Beaumont Hospital Foundation’s fundraising appeal which is inviting the public to help them raise the final €1million needed to complete the build of a stand-alone, dedicated Breast Clinic at Beaumont Hospital.
€4million has already been committed to the project by private donors together with a small amount of state funding and a further €1million is needed to complete the capital budget. The design and tender process is ongoing with planning permission already secured. The design team have drawn up detailed plans for the three-storey facility and construction work will commence later this year with an expected completion date of September 2020.
The project is the brainchild of Consultant Breast Surgeon, Professor Arnie Hill who has been guiding the development of a first class breast service at Beaumont Hospital since 2006. He says, “Back then breast services at Beaumont were in their infancy. There was one weekly clinic for both general and breast cancer and we were limited to a very low number of mammograms per month. I remember thinking, ‘we’ve got to be able to do better than this’. It’s been a slow evolution but aided by the national realignment of cancer services and through the recruitment of an expert team of multi-disciplinary medical professionals, we have been able to establish the excellent service we have today. The pinnacle of our vision will be the realisation of a new home for the breast service where all aspects of the breast assessment service can come together under one roof to provide a greatly improved patient experience”, he concluded.
The Breast Service at Beaumont Hospital sees approx. 9,000 female and male patients annually. These patients are referred to Beaumont Hospital by their GPs with symptoms that need further investigation for possible breast cancer and patients returning for follow-up visits. Thirteen breast clinics are now held weekly to meet the growing patient volume which is attributable to factors such as population growth in the catchment area, a general increase in the level of breast awareness and an increased recognition by GPs of the quality of service which the hospital provides. Dr. Deirdre Duke, Consultant Radiologist and Lead Clinician for the Breast Service says, ”The number of patients diagnosed with breast cancer in Beaumont Hospital has grown from 89 patients fifteen years ago to 400 patients last year. The service is expanding annually and our current facilities are not equipped for this volume of patients hence the urgent need for a dedicated facility.
This stand-alone unit will allow us to streamline our services in a patient focussed environment. With the project already 80% funded, we are calling our patients, past and present, their families and anyone in our catchment area (which stretches to the border with Northern Ireland) to help us raise this final €1million to ensure our family and friends who develop breast symptoms in the future have access to one of the best breast diagnostic and treatment centres in the country”.
The new Breast Clinic will be located adjacent to the RCSI Education and Research Centre and the Emergency Department on the hospital campus. Diagnostic imaging will be housed on the ground floor and will include two new 3D tomosynthesis mammography machines which offer significant advances in cancer detection for women with dense breast tissue. The first floor will include eight consultation rooms and a counselling room for patients diagnosed with breast cancer. The top floor will house offices for administration, specialist breast care nurses and the Cancer Clinical Trials and Research Unit which provides access for suitable patients to experimental therapies.
Beaumont Hospital Foundation, the charity which works to encourage donations to help improve patient care at Beaumont Hospital, will be fronting the appeal to raise €1million. Speaking about the new appeal, Paddy Delaney, General Manager says, “We are delighted to work with the breast care team in launching this appeal. All too many of us know the reach of breast cancer and have family or friends affected by the disease which now affects one in every eight women. With such a large volume of patients being seen here annually it makes perfect sense to rehouse the breast assessment services in a single centre to make huge efficiencies in practice and to provide a holistic, modern clinical environment for patients with breast issues. We can only achieve this with the support of the community, the backing of major donors and corporates and the help of anyone at any time who has been seen in Beaumont Hospital’s breast clinic. Our request is that you make a donation, nominate us as your charity of the year, signup for one of our events or organise your own to help us make this happen”. For more information on how you can get involved see www.beaumontfundraising.ie.