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Sidcup hospital honours patients' champion

PUBLISHED: 07:00 01 November 2018

City of Gold by Karen Keogh. Picture: Matt Barker

City of Gold by Karen Keogh. Picture: Matt Barker

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A ceremony was held earlier this month at Queen Mary's Hospital (QMH) in Sidcup, in memory of patient June Casson.

Mairead Griffin and James Brokenshire with June's family and friends. Picture: Matt BarkerMairead Griffin and James Brokenshire with June's family and friends. Picture: Matt Barker

As chair of its Patient Reference Group, June championed the voice of her fellow cancer patients in the design of the hospital’s Guy’s Cancer centre, which opened last year.

A retired civil servant from Downham, she passed away in January aged 69.

The centre is run by Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust on the QMH site, so that patients can receive treatment closer to where they live instead of travelling into central London.

In a fitting tribute to June’s work, Guy’s Cancer revealed that more than 22,000 patient appointments had taken place in its first year of operation – saving approximately 550,000 miles of travelling.

City of Gold by Karen Keogh. Picture: Matt BarkerCity of Gold by Karen Keogh. Picture: Matt Barker

This includes 11,500 radiotherapy treatments and 10,600 chemotherapy appointments.

More than 2,200 people had also visited the Dimbleby Macmillan Support Centre for cancer patients and their families, whilst 93.3pc of patients were likely to recommend Guy’s Cancer at QMH to a friend or family member.

Artwork dedicated to June was unveiled at the event on October 19 by Old Bexley and Sidcup MP James Brokenshire, who carried out the official ground-breaking ceremony with June in 2014.

He said: “It was a privilege to join June Casson in breaking the ground to mark the start of the construction of the Guy’s Cancer Centre at Queen Mary’s.

“June’s advocacy and leadership of the Patient Reference Group was instrumental in seeing that the centre was designed with the needs of patients at the forefront.

“It is hugely fitting that this artwork will continue to underline the important contribution June made and how patients will benefit for years to come.”

The etching City of Gold by London-based artist Karen Keogh will hang in the lobby of Guy’s Cancer at QMH and was chosen because June loved London.

Dr Anne Rigg, Clinical Director for Oncology at Guy’s and St Thomas’, said: “June was a very special person who did so much for cancer patients over the years.

“It’s a fitting tribute to have this amazing piece of art to remember June by.”

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