Dorchester’s new £9 million state-of-the-art cancer treatment centre has been opened by Dorset-based actor Martin Clunes.

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Martin Clunes with his wife Philippa and members of the Buckham Fair Committee, which raised cash for the centre Photo: Finnbarr Webster

Almost 200 guests attended the official opening at Dorset County Hospital, including charity donors, staff, patient representatives and health officials, who watched as Martin unveiled the commemoration stone.

The £9 million Robert White Centre is an extension of the Poole Hospital-based Dorset Cancer Centre. The Dorchester unit is equipped with the latest linear accelerator (Linac) which enables patients to receive the best-possible radiotherapy treatment. This means that cancer patients in the north, south and west of the county can receive this care in their local hospital, instead of having to travel to Poole for treatment.

The facility also includes a £1.75 million cancer and haematology outpatients department funded by the Cancer Appeal run by Dorset County Hospital Charity. This was supported by hundreds of donations from individuals and community groups, as well as trusts and foundations.

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Karen Bev, general manager of oncology at Poole Hospital shows guests the new Linac radiotherapy machine Photo: Finnbarr Webster

The new building has been funded in part by a generous legacy from Poole businessman Robert White, who was treated for cancer at the Dorset Cancer Centre but sadly lost his battle in 2015.

Martin Clunes said: “It was my privilege to be able to officially open the new Robert White Centre. The incredibly generous support from the community for the DCH Cancer Appeal, as well as Robert’s generosity, leaves a remarkable legacy for patients with cancer in Dorset.”

Simon Pearson, head of fundraising at DCH Charity, said: “We have received extraordinary support from across our community for the Cancer Appeal. Thank you to everyone for their generosity. This support will benefit cancer patients at DCH for years to come.”

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