New cancer support centre in Kettering moves a step closer as plans submitted

The architects firm behind the plans provided the designs for the initial hospital site more than 100 years ago

By Stephanie Weaver
Wednesday, 19th February 2020, 6:00 am

Plans for the new cancer support centre proposed for Kettering General Hospital have been submitted.

National architects GSSArchitecture, whose head office is based in Kettering, has submitted a planning application on behalf of the hospital and Macmillan Cancer Support to bring a new cancer support centre to the town.

The new centre, the first of its kind in the north of the county, will be used by people who are living with, or are affected by cancer, and will offer them support, resources and therapeutic services.

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CGI of how the new cancer support centre would look when completed

The centre will be situated within the courtyard inside the main hospital site, and will be operated by hospital alongside their partner Macmillan Cancer Support.

Rachel Atkinson, Macmillan partnership manager for Northamptonshire, said: “Cancer can affect every part of your life, not just your health, so it’s vital that we try and support patients with non-clinical needs as well.

"We are thrilled to be working with the Kettering General Hospital and GSSArchit ecture to develop this brilliant new centre that will offer a calming and comfortable space for people with cancer, their relatives, friends and carers to get the information and support they need.”

Macmillan head of nursing for cancer at Kettering General Hospital, Ruth Giles, said: “While we provide information and support around the diagnosis and treatment of cancer we know that often people have a great many more questions that occur to them after their hospital appointments.

“In 2019, the Macmillan Mobile Information Service visited the hospital and the team supported over 350 patients in a week - so there is very clearly an unmet need for more support.

“This new centre will provide that support and help our patients – and their families – to better understand the condition and help them to deal with the many, often unexpected, difficulties that a cancer diagnosis can bring.

“We are delighted to be working alongside GSS and Macmillan to ensure that the information centre will meet all of our patients’ needs.”

Situated on a difficult site within the courtyard of the hospitals main ward block, the building has been designed to make the best use of the available space, while providing an engaging and sympathetic environment for users of the centre.

The unique curved nature of the plan enables the building to interact with several interesting external spaces that have been created, while maintaining the requirement for a less clinical, private and calming setting.

Andrew Vallis, architect at GSSArchitecture, said: “It has been a real pleasure working with Macmillan Cancer Support and Kettering General hospital on such an interesting and important project to benefit the people of Kettering and the surrounding areas - particularly given GSSArchitecture’s long history with Kettering General Hospital.”

GSSArchitecture’s history with the hospital dates back more than 100 years, with founder of GSS, JohnAlfred Gotch, providing the designs for the initial site back in 1894.

Since that time the hospital has grown significantly, with the GSS designed former main hospital building now just a small section of the entire site.