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The Linda McCartney Centre

Presented by: Professor Frank Sanderson

Honorable Pro-Chancellor, I have pleasure in presenting The Linda McCartney Centre for the Corporate Award of Liverpool John Moores University. 

The Linda McCartney Centre, situated in the grounds of the Royal Liverpool Hospital, provides state of the art specialist care for thousands of cancer patients from the North-West. 

The Centre was opened in the 2000 by our Chancellor Emeritus Cherie Blair and is named after Linda McCartney, the photographer, musician, author, food entrepreneur and animal rights activist who died in 1998 after losing her three-year battle against breast cancer. The McCartney family is delighted that Linda's name is linked with such a positive project. 

Until the early 1990s, the building in which the centre is contained accommodated the Liverpool School of Nursing - at that time, nurse training was transferred to our City Campus at Tithebarn Street, thereby creating an underutilised space in the hospital.  

Many proposals for use of the building were considered until it was decided that it would become a cancer treatment centre. The Forget-Me-Not Cancer Appeal, chaired by Professor The Lord Alton from LJMU, raised £4 million to turn the disused building into a patient friendly centre.  

From the outset, The Linda McCartney Centre has provided comfortable patient centred state-of-the-art facilities, including a large regional breast assessment unit which screens over 18,000 patients a year, a purpose built chemotherapy unit, an outpatient unit and a research and development department to oversee a wide range of cancer research within the Royal Liverpool University Hospital. 

The excellent facilities are complemented by dedicated specialist staff who are there to ensure that patients receive the most advanced treatments available in the UK. 

Of particular importance is the specialist palliative care team which is concerned with the active total care of patients whose disease is not curable. This team, which includes several Macmillan clinical nurse specialists, is concerned with achieving the best quality of life possible for such patients and their families.

The centre also hosts the Macmillan Information Centre which has been established to offer information, support and practical help to anyone affected by cancer, whether patient, family member, carer or friend.

Charitable support is vital to the success of the centre whether through individuals giving a few hours of their time, organising an event or supporting one of the appeal's organised events. It is only with such on-going support that the centre will be able to maintain its position at the leading edge of innovative treatment and care.  

The difference the Linda McCartney Centre has made is tangible and is evident from the testimony of many grateful patients: for example, one colleague at LJMU has spoken of the confidence she was given by the consistency of approach, how she was made to feel like a person rather than just a patient and was given a second chance at life; another colleague spoke of the Linda McCartney Centre as a life saver in the truest sense and that all the staff were consistently wonderful - sensitive, positive, understanding and always good-humoured: all qualities which are so important at a very stressful time in people's lives.   

The Centre clearly has a special team spirit, a special ethos which makes it a beacon service with which Linda McCartney would be very proud to be associated.  

We are also proud to be associated with the Linda McCartney Centre and proud to bestow this corporate award today. 

It is thus with great pleasure that we invite Mr Christopher Holcombe, Consultant Surgeon at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, to receive on behalf of the Linda McCartney Centre, the Corporate Award from Liverpool John Moores University.