Prime Minister experiences Addenbrooke’s vision of future healthcare

31 October 2019
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has visited Addenbrooke’s Hospital to see first-hand how recent funding announcements will help build a new hospital of the future.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets Dr Anna Godfrey, Consultant Haematologist and Clinical Lead at CUH (left) and Dr Sarah Bowdin, Medical Director for East Midlands and East of England Genomic Laboratory Hub at CUH.The visit focused on the hospital’s ambition for future healthcare, through the rebuilding of “Addenbrooke’s 3” with the £1 billion announced by Matt Hancock earlier this month.

Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) is looking to create a state-of-the-art environment, under-pinned by Cambridge’s world-leading research, integrating health and care services across the region.

Its focus will be on early detection and precision treatment using high tech innovation, delivered through close working relationships with life science research and industry partners on the Campus and more widely across the Cambridge Cluster.

Mr Johnson heard how cutting-edge life-science can save lives and improve care for patients as he toured the East Midlands and East of England Genomic Laboratory Hub situated within the Addenbrooke’s Treatment Centre.

The hub has been commissioned by the NHS England to deliver the highest quality genomic testing to a population of 10 million people.

It combines genomic sequencing with world class interpretation of the human genome to help impact the lives of patients, ranging from critically ill babies in intensive care to adults newly diagnosed with cancer.

Dr Sarah Bowdin, Medical Director of the Genomics Laboratory Hub at CUH, said: “The positive impact of making a definite diagnosis is very much valued by patients, especially when a specific treatment is available.  Research is continuously evolving to offer new treatments for previously untreatable, life-threatening conditions, and the Genomic Laboratory Hub is dedicated to maximising the number of patients who can benefit from an accurate genetic diagnosis. Mr Johnson’s visit highlights the importance of genomics to the evolution of personalised healthcare, for the benefit of all NHS patients.”

Mr Johnson was also able to meet retired Cambridge scientist, Liz Chipchase, whose life was transformed after taking part in a clinical trial to study the effectiveness of a new cancer diagnostic treatment.

Cytosponge or the “Pill on a string” can be easily swallowed to allow easy detection of cancer of the oesophagus.

Liz underwent the trial, believing she was perfectly healthy, but early diagnosis meant doctors were able to treat her cancer, which was close to spreading.

Mr Johnson’s tour also included a visit to the National Institute for Health Research Cambridge Clinical Research Facility, where he met cancer patient Kathy Power who is undergoing a clinical trial for very early stage new treatments.