By Robin Scott
A Coronation Street star praised the Manchester hospital that treated her for cancer after it was internationally recognised as a centre of excellence.
The Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Withington is the first hospital in the UK to be officially accredited as a Comprehensive Cancer Care Centre, an award shared by only seven other hospitals across Europe.
Sally Dynevor (The Street’s Sally Webster), a patient of the hospital herself in the last few years, was happy to offer her congratulations.
She said: “The Christie is an incredible hospital and we’re so lucky to have it here in the North West.
“It’s been a savior to so many people, including myself, the care offered by the staff is second to none.
“The international recognition is so well deserved.”
Sally’s life paralleled that of her character’s when she discovered a lump on her chest bone as she was filming scenes of Sally Webster’s own diagnosis.
Encouraged by the scenes she was filming to get checked out, Sally was shocked to be told she had breast cancer, an early diagnosis that she now credits with having saved her life.
While viewers worried about her on-screen, Sally found herself living the part off-screen.
The Christie’s accreditation means they join world leading cancer care centres such as the Karoliniska in Stockholm and others in Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam and puts them alongside the world’s best cancer treatment centres.
The award follows a rigorous external examination by the Organisation of European Cancer Institutes (OECI).
The Christie was voted as the first NHS member of the OECI in 2007, a partnership of around 60 leading cancer centres across Europe.
Two years later they won a bid to host the 2009 OECI General Assembly and Scientific Conference.
PRAISE: The Christie has earned international recognition
Dr Chris Harrison, Medical Director at The Christie, a member of the OECI Accreditation Board was quick to recognize the part that workers at the hospital had paid in the accreditation.
He said: “Our dedicated and professional staff were singled out for praise as part of this process, as was our research and the quality of care we provide.”
“We’ve already come so far in our vision to be a world-leading comprehensive cancer centre, but this latest announcement takes us that one step further. It also gives our patients the assurance that their treatment and care couldn’t be in better hands.”
The Christie is the second largest hospital charity in the UK and invests £13 million a year in patient services and research.
Leading cancer charity Cancer Research UK were quick to add their congratulations.
Professor Peter Johnson, Cancer Research UK’s Chief Clinician, said: “It is good news that the Christie has received this accreditation.
“The award recognizes the strong history of excellent patient care and cancer research at the Christie.
“The hospital is already part of Cancer Research UK’s network of research centres and this status now allows it to join a European wide network of cancer centres, all designed to provide the best possible care for patients.”
The Christie will be officially handed its accreditation certificate at the 2010 OECI General Assembly on June 17 in Amsterdam.