30 years after she opened Basingstoke Hospital, Princess Alexandra returned to open the new Diagnostic and Treatment Centre
Construction of the new unit commenced on 20th October 2003 and the building was handed over on time and within the £8 million budgeted cost in mid-December 2004. This is a separate building but is linked to the main hospital. The great majority of the funding came from public sources but generous contributions also came from a number of charitable organisations. Her Royal Highness met representatives of the Basingstoke College of Technology who provided all the artwork displayed on the walls, the League of Friends who assisted with planting outside the facility, the Medical Fund that provided endoscopy equipment, and the Pat Harris-Bye Netball Tournament Trust that provided the couches in the Breast Unit.
The new building houses three new operating theatres, an endoscopy suite, breast diagnostics and breast screening facilities and 12 short stay (up to two days) overnight beds. When fully worked up the facility will provide day case and short stay care for approximately 13,000 patients a year. The range of specialities that will operate within the DTC include general surgery, urology, ENT, orthopaedics, gynaecology and oral surgery. The diagnostic procedures that will be carried out include endoscopy (the examination of body cavities
using a fibre-optic telescope), mammography and ultrasound. In most cases patients will be referred by their GP, and can normally expect to undergo diagnosis, treatment and be discharged on the same day. As important, the staff is dedicated to the DTC and will not have activity disrupted by emergencies elsewhere in the hospital. During her tour of the DTC Her Royal Highness met a selection of staff and a number of patients who were undergoing treatment.
"It was a great boost to have a Royal visit to launch this new Centre, which is of the highest quality. The staff enjoy working in these new surroundings, and I am sure it gives patients even greater confidence to know that the very latest equipment is avaiable to help with diagnosis and treatment."