Over the past 10 years or so, the Addenbrooke's hospital site just south of Cambridge, has been expanding; improving existing buildings and birthing some altogether brand new facilities.
Cambridge University Hospitals are amongst some the best performing, patient-rated trusts in the country - including London - and whilst Cambridge's centuries of academic command have helped it become a place world-renowned for scientific excellence, the snowballing progression of recent years has been outstanding. There are scientific research and development sites - and they really are sites - all over Cambridge, with the most notable being situated just north of the city centre, and hosting some big international names. These sites attract some of the best, most active and innovative experts, and the research into cancer care here, is some of the most thorough and substantial anywhere in the United Kingdom.
For geeks and nerds, Cambridge is a place unlike any other in the country, but before you decide to visit, consider this: If Antarctic exploration mission bases aren't your thing, then this may not be the place for you. There are plenty of cities that don't have those.
Addenbrooke's, the hospital at the centre of the Trust's expansion plans, has an extensive and ongoing relationship with the surrounding Cambridge Biomedical Campus, a huge, project-led site tasked with developing some of the best patient care facilities in Europe. A dedicated neuroscience centre, infectious diseases facilities and a purpose-built, comprehensive cancer care centre are at the forefront of the developments. All intentioned to raise the profile of science and healthcare in the region, the real focus of all of this work, is to advance care for the East's growing population of patients and new families. Teenagers and young adults at Addenbrooke's have just been granted access to a new Teenage Cancer Trust unit.
This doesn't sound at all like the NHS that we've been hearing about of late, does it?
The reality, though, is that a large proportion of this trust group's success is simply down to the fact that its staff and supporters work incredibly hard. That old adage that says, "you've gotta spend money to make money" is just as true of people. Addenbrooke's and its sister hospital, the Rosie, employ around 8000 people and their associated charity, ACT, have been responsible in recent years for engaging the community to raise money for this, and this.
The building pictured in the first link is the current state of the Rosie, a three-story extension of the existing maternity hospital, whose quality of care for mothers and their children, is rated as some of the NHS's 'best performing.' Again, this is no coincidence, its success is thanks to the dedication of its staff and of the public which supports it.
Cambridge and Addenbrooke's will continue to grow in coming years, and the opportunities available for people to get involved will become more diverse, but the wider take-away from all of this is simple: These hospitals and centres for research are ours. They work towards a common goal of better care and treatment, for our families and closest friends. They are often expensive to build and staff, but it's worth it, and we can have them. With the right attitude and the right people, achievements like the ones seen here are not just possible, but attainable on a much shorter time scale than you might imagine. The only stipulation, is that you have to be willing to work really, really hard for them.
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