Welcome to Ipswich Hospital
Our Passion, Your Care

Monday, 23 October 2017
Background

In 1929 a gift of £2,500 was made to the Ipswich & East Suffolk Hospital (later known the Anglesea Road Wing of the Ipswich Hospital) for the purchase of radium for the treatment of cancer. The first treatment was carried out in August 1929 for cancer of the cervix.

During the next ten years the use of radium for cancer treatment, principally by gynaecologists, increased to the extent that setting up a dedicated radiotherapy department was considered and a radiotherapist was appointed. World War II intervened and Dr Woodward did not take up his post until 1945. He left shortly afterwards in 1947.

The formal founding of the radiotherapy department at Ipswich dates from 1948 when the Nuffield Provincial Hospital Trust donated the sum of £20,481 in memory of the late Mr Bland for the setting up of a radiotherapy department at the Anglesea Road Hospital. This donation was used to purchase new radium stock. A deep x-ray unit was also acquired at this time and Dr Phelan became the first radiotherapist of the new ‘officially’ founded radiotherapy department.

Over the next few decades the work and size of the department expanded, and new equipment was brought into operation. Teletherapy units and unsealed source therapies were introduced in the 1950s, computerised treatment planning was introduced in 1975 and the first linear accelerator was installed in 1978.

During this period the use of chemotherapy was introduced and the radiotherapy department expanded to become an oncology department, under the clinical direction of Mr T Mott and Dr C Wiltshire.

In October 1991 the department moved into purpose-built accommodation at the Heath Road site and continued to develop rapidly in both facilities and services provided. Intensity modulated radiotherapy was introduced in 2002 making Ipswich one of the first hospitals in the UK to provide this state of the art treatment on a routine basis.

P Waldock, Chief Physicist