The Prince of Wales opens proton beam therapy centre at UCLH

Prince Charles Plaque

His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales has officially opened a brand-new specialist cancer centre, the Grafton Way Building at University College London Hospital (UCLH), including the UK’s second proton beam therapy centre.

Thanks to our partnership with Morgan Stanley, we have a specially designed space with a quiet area, study area and TV and gaming facilities to make young people’s hospital experience as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. 

The Prince of Wales was given a tour of the proton beam therapy centre before joining staff and supporters of the hospital including Teenage Cancer Trust’s Chief Executive Kate Collins on the roof garden, where he opened the hospital by unveiling a plaque.

Prince Charles and Kate Collins

After meeting staff and supporters of the hospital, His Royal Highness unveiled a plaque and said: “I was enormously touched to be invited to open this project, which I know has been a long time in the planning. But if I may say so, it is a remarkable achievement and for what it is worth, I offer my congratulations to those who played such an important part, including all those genius physicists who actually understand how proton beam therapy works. It is truly remarkable.

“I understand how much pressure you have been under for the last two years and quite how you have withstood it, I do not know. It is a great tribute to your professionalism and resilience to make this possible. And for all of us who relied upon you, depended on you and your skills, we cannot ever thank you enough. Many congratulations and thank you for all that you do.”

Kate Collins, Teenage Cancer Trust Chief Executive, said: “Being diagnosed with cancer as a teenager or young adult is devastating. But getting the right support at the right time can make all the difference, so the work through our partnerships with University College Hospital and Morgan Stanley will change lives.”

Proton Beam Therapy Waiting Room

The proton beam therapy centre is one of only two centres in the UK. The two centres bring together some of the world’s leading specialists in complex cancers and will ultimately treat up to 1,300 patients a year from across England.

Together, the Christie in Manchester and UCLH see more children and teenagers with cancer than almost any other centre in the world, and more adults with brain cancers than any other centre in the UK.

In addition to the waiting area in the Proton Beam Therapy Centre, young people with cancer will also benefit from the Teenage Cancer Trust and Morgan Stanley ward within the building which is a brand new specialist blood cancer ward. With high quality kitchen facilities, art on the walls, audio-visual entertainment and comfortable seating – everything has been carefully designed to create a relaxing and welcoming environment for young people, their families and friends.

On top of this, already in place thanks to Morgan Stanley’s fundraising efforts, are three specialist Teenage Cancer Trust Nurses for London and the South East, with a further post being recruited, which will mean for the first time ever the charity will be able to reach every young person with cancer in the region to provide age-appropriate care.