Nearly £7 million is to be spent on refurbishing Weston Park cancer hospital in Sheffield - one of the biggest overhauls in the site’s history.
Wards will be completely gutted before being brought up to a modern standard as part of the £6.7 million project, which is set to take around 18 months.
Weston Park, which opened more than 45 years ago, is one of only four dedicated cancer hospitals in the country, and provides chemotherapy and radiotherapy to thousands of patients from across South Yorkshire and beyond.
The large, revamped wards - Ward 2 and Ward 3 - will have new equipment, beds and furnishings, and will be designed to create as much clinical space as possible.
Cancer expert Professor Barry Hancock, who worked at Weston Park for more than three decades until his retirement six years ago, said the scheme was a ‘major undertaking’.
“It’s the most major thing that I can remember happening, and I was there for many years,” he said.
“To have the two big wards entirely refurbished and restyled and made even more patient-friendly will be, I would say, a wonderful improvement.”
Each ward will have 30 beds, with the flexibility to go up to 33 if demand requires.
The work on Ward 2 is due to start imminently and should be completed later this year. Once this has finished, the work on Ward 3 will begin. It is hoped the entire scheme will conclude by the middle of 2017.
Cancer patients will be found alternative accommodation elsewhere within the hospital.
A refurbishment of the site’s assessment unit has already been carried out, and is being viewed by hospital bosses as a considerable improvement. New, single rooms have allowed patients to be checked in discreet areas, offering more privacy.
Neil Priestley, director of finance at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said the changes would enable Weston Park to carry on offering ‘high standards of care’.
“We have an ongoing investment programme at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals to improve facilities across the five hospitals we manage so we can ensure our patients are receiving the highest levels of care in modern environments,” said Mr Priestley.
“The board of directors agreed that £6.7 million would be used to improve the assessment unit and two wards at Weston Park Cancer Hospital. As a leading cancer centre, we will continue to invest to ensure it is able to provide the high standards of care it is recognised for.”
The hospital superseded the Sheffield National Centre for Radiotherapy when it opened in April 1970.
In 1995 it was designated as a cancer centre because of its specialist facilities for complex conditions.
Neighbouring district hospitals were classified as cancer units.