FINAL approval for a £3m cancer centre, which will serve Welwyn Hatfield patients, has been granted – with construction set to start in September.

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Board members at the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, which runs Lister Hospital, gave the chemotherapy centre the green light at a meeting last Wednesday.

The project, run by the trust and cancer charity Macmillan Cancer Support, will also see a new unit built to give patients with the latest treatments in a more spacious environment.

The Trust will contribute £1.45m to the build, expected to be ready in May 2014, with Macmillan committed to raising the remaining funding through sponsorship.

Trust chief executive Nick Carver said: “This is the final formal step that allows work to build the new cancer centre to start, which is being funded jointly by Macmillan and the Trust.

“If all goes to plan cancer patients will start to use the new unit from May 2014 – something that we are all excited to see happen.”

Carol Fenton, general manager of Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “The oversubscribed facilities at the Lister Hospital in Stevenage simply do not do justice to the care provided by the award-winning staff.”

She said the challenge for the charity is now to raise £1.5million so work can be completed.

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