Letter: NHS in crisis

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Sir: Do not be fooled by the Victorian facade at our Chelsea site. As you say, the Royal Marsden is a world-renowned centre ("We must pay up to prevent the decline of our health service", 6 January). We could not maintain our reputation at the forefront of cancer care, treatment and research if we did not invest in buildings and facilities.

In the past seven years nearly pounds 50m has been spent on new wards, operating theatres, treatment and diagnostic facilities. For example, we opened a new clinical block in 1992 and our purpose-designed children's unit opened in 1993; a diagnostic imaging department and breast diagnostic unit opened in 1996, a fully integrated haemato-oncology unit in 1997 and a rehabilitation unit with a whole range of facilities for patients recovering from cancer treatment in 1998.

All are designed to be accessible and well organised for patients and accommodating to new clinical practices and the latest medical technology. Our expertise in radiotherapy, for instance, is recognised by an ISO (International Standards Organisation) 9001 quality standard. We are continuing to invest in the fabric of the hospital for the sake both of patients receiving care and of staff delivering it.



Royal Marsden NHS Trust

London SW3