Royal Marsden Hospital
Downs Road, Sutton, Surrey SM2 5PT
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1963 - current

The Surrey branch of the Royal Marsden Hospital was built in 1962 on a 5.70 acre site, once the southern part of the Down's Hospital, which had closed in 1948.  The surviving buildings of the Down's Hospital were occupied by the Sutton Hospital and the Institute of Cancer Research.

The new building was officially opened by the Queen on 20th May 1963.

The Hospital contained 85 beds, a Diagnostic X-ray Department, a Radiotherapy Department with two 6 meV linear accelerators, and a Pathology Department.  It had cost about £750,000 to build and was the first phase of a building plan.  

In 1968 a 22-bedded sterile ward was built, primarily for the treatment of patients with leukaemia.

The second stage of the building plan, which provided another 90 beds and further research and training facilities, was built in the 1970s.

The Bud Flanagan Ward opened in 1973 at a cost of £100,000.  It was named after the entertainer Bud Flanagan, whose son had died from leukaemia.

In 1993, following the Tomlinson Report, the Hospital was threatened with closure along with its parent Hospital in Chelsea.  However, no action was taken and both sites remained operational.

In 2001 the Hospital had 168 beds.

In February 2005 the Oak Foundation Drug Development Unit opened.  It had 10 beds, 5 treatment chairs and 2 out-patient suites.  The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity contributed £2.8m towards the £15m project.

Present status (August 2008)

The Hospital remains operational and is very active.  The Institute of Cancer Research continues to use the older buildings.

UPDATE:  January 2017

On 29th September 2011 the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge opened the new £18m Oak Centre for Children and Young People.  It has 31 beds.  The costs were funded entirely by private donations, with the  Royal Marsden Cancer Charity donating £16m.

In May 2014 the £2.6m West Wing Clinical Research Centre was officially opened by Professor Dame Sally Davies, the Chief Medical Officer for England.  

In November 2015 Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, visited the state-of-the-art research facilities in the West Wing and the new purpose-built Centre for Molecular Pathology, funded by the
National Institute for Health Research.

In March 2015 it was announced that a Maggie's Centre would be built in the grounds of the Hospital.  The Centre is due to open early in 2017.

In February 2016 it was announced that a new centre for cancer research and treatment - the London Cancer Hub - would be established on the Hospital site, covering some 265,000 square metres (doubling the current space).  The Hub would bring together 10,000 scientists, clinical and support staff specialising in cancer research, treatment, education and enterprise.

In April 2016 a leaked report, commissioned in August 2014 by NHS England, suggested that children's cancer care should be consolidated on one site - the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children.  This would indicate closure of the Oak Centre for Children and Young People.
N.B. Photographs obtained in August 2008

Royal Marsden Hospital, Sutton
The approach driveway from Downs Road.

Royal Marsden Hospital, Sutton
The East Wing of the Hospital was built in 1962.  The West Wing is shown in the distance, beyond the main entrance.

Royal Marsden Hospital, Sutton
The main entrance.

Royal Marsden Hospital, Sutton
The side entrance on Cotswold Road for The Institute of Cancer Research, which occupies some of the old buildings on the site.

N.B. Photograph obtained in October 2011

Royal Marsden Hospital, Sutton
The Oak Centre for Children and Young People is in the South Wing, to the west of the main entrance.

References (Accessed 14th January 2017)

(Author unstated) 1959 Hospital building programme.  Britiish Medical Journal 2 (5158), 1028.

(Author unstated) 1963 New Surrey branch of Royal Marsden.  British Medical Journal 1 (5342), 1423.

(Author unstated) 1968 News in brief.  British Medical Journal 2 (5615), 443.

Birmingham K 2005 Marsden opens Europe's largest drug development unit.  Cancer Nursing Practice 4, 4.


https://en.wikipedia.org (1)
https://en.wikipedia.org (2)
www.royalmarsden.nhs.uk (1)
www.royalmarsden.nhs.uk (2)

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