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New milestone for “one-off” Ninewells Cancer Campaign

September 22 2016

The Ninewells Cancer Campaign has reached another major funding milestone - bringing the total raised over the past 25 years to £22 million. The campaign has successfully concluded its appeal to raise £2 million in order to kit out the Jacqui Wood Centre at Ninewells Hospital. Named in memory of Dr Jacqui Wood, who chaired the campaign from its formation in 1991 to her death in 2011, the centre aims to turn groundbreaking cancer research into effective treatments for patients. The Ninewells Cancer Campaign was launched as a a one-off campaign to raise funds for a CAT scanner but has now raised more than £22 million to help in the fight against cancer. Professor Russell Petty said: “It is a testament to the high regard of the campaign that so many people have helped us reach our most recent target. “Having a leading clinical cancer research programme allows us to make the very latest breakthrough cancer medicines available to patients. "We also aim to work ever more closely with our world-leading scientists in the University of Dundee to translate their scientific advances into new more effective cancer treatments. "Together this ensures that the cancer treatment we provide in Dundee remains at the cutting edge.” Lady Fiona Fraser, chair of the campaign, said:  “This is a wonderful achievement. "This campaign continues to grow after 20 years and we have well exceeded expectation. "Once again we are humbled by the marvellous support shown by so many around Tayside and beyond.” Since 1991, the campaign has supported the development of the latest research laboratories and recruitment of key scientists to drive forward cancer research programmes in the University and NHS Tayside. Funds have been used to support many ambitious projects including establishment of the £5.3 million Princess Alexandra Cancer Treatment Centre , the Department of Surgery and Molecular Oncology (£4 million), the Pat McPherson Centre for Pharmacogenomics and Pharmacogenetics (£1.5 million), as well as to create and equip the Jacqui Wood Cancer Centre on Dundee University's medical school at Ninewells Hospital. The latest fundraising milestone was marked by a public lecture from Professor Russell Petty, chair of medical oncology, on developing new medicines for hard to treat cancers.

Motoring news

Audi’s new Q cars

April 12 2017

Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space...


Delight as Ninewells Hospital car park boss cancels charge

April 16 2011

Ninewells Hospital's under-fire car park boss has shown a bit of heart and withdrawn a pensioner's parking charge notice. Gordon Brown, who works for private firm Vinci Park which runs the hospital's car parks, returned from honeymoon earlier this week to read the tale of woe from William McMichael. The 70-year-old from Arbroath had threatened to go to court rather than pay up after being hit with a parking notice while visiting his wife, who is battling cancer and had been admitted to the Princess Alexandra Cancer Centre at Ninewells. Mr McMichael had purchased a parking ticket but it fell off the windscreen and was lying on the passenger seat when the wardens checked his car. He was told the parking charge was imposed for failing to display the ticket, irrespective of whether a valid voucher was purchased. Mr McMichael appealed the notice but received a letter saying the charge would stand. He then contacted The Courier, explaining his predicament by which time Mr Brown had returned from his honeymoon and agreed to look at the evidence and review the decision taken by a colleague in his absence. On Friday a delighted Mr McMichael said he had just received a letter from Mr Brown withdrawing the request for payment of the £20 charge imposed for a breach of the parking rules. He quoted Mr Brown as stating, "This incident has been brought to my attention and I have looked into the matter. Please forgive me for not contacting you earlier as I was away on annual leave. "After reflecting over the incident, I can appreciate your circumstances. As a gesture of goodwill and support I have cancelled the notice." The car park boss said he hoped that Mr McMichael would now be able to concentrate on "the more important matter" of his wife's health. "At the end of the day I don't have to pay and I don't have to go to a solicitor and fight this," said Mr McMichael. "It's all thanks to The Courier."


Ninewells Hospital hosts tribute to radiotherapy progress

April 28 2016

Ninewells Hospital is hosting a permanent display which tells the story of the history of radiotherapy in Dundee. The five-panel wall display, which can be found in the Radiotherapy Department in the Princess Alexandra Centre at Ninewells, charts the development and many of the significant milestones in the use of radiotherapy in the treatment of patients. Joint creator Dr Hannah Lord said: “My life-long interest in history and specifically the history of radiotherapy were the inspiration and driving force for this display.


Life-changing work recognised by royal couple on visit to Ninewells Hospital

June 12 2013

The Duchess of Rothesay learned about pioneering diabetes research when she visited Ninewells Hospital on Tuesday. Camilla also had the chance to meet staff and patients at a service that helps people with osteoporosis. That is a cause close to her heart as her mother suffered from the condition and she is president of the National Osteoporosis Society (NOS). The duchess arrived at the £15 million clinical research centre to be greeted with a posy of flowers from 11-year-old Darcey McDonald, who is a youth ambassador for diabetes charity JDRF. Darcey said: “She said the flowers matched her outfit and it was a pleasure to meet me. I was nervous but she was really nice.” The duchess saw a demonstration of a clinical trial with the help of patient Fiona Dear, 54, from Scone. Fiona said afterwards: “She was very nice and easy to talk to. It was lovely. She is a very nice person and she was interested.” The duchess then went on to a reception hosted by the NOS, where she heard about the impact the fracture liaison service in Tayside is having.Photo gallery: Camilla visits Ninewells HospitalShe told staff: “I am very pleased to be here. Thank you all very much, you do a wonderful job.” The duchess moved on to the Maggie’s Centre at Ninewells and had a chance to hear about its work with cancer patients and their families. She is president of the Maggie’s network. She met women from the Tuesday group, who have advanced cancer and meet to support each other. The Duke of Rothesay was given a warm welcome on his visit to the hospital where he heard about new research into breast cancer as well as meeting patients and staff. Accompanied by NHS Tayside chairman Sandy Watson and Dundee Lord Provost Bob Duncan, he was introduced to Professor Alastair Thompson, professor of surgical oncology. The tour ended with a visit to the Princess Alexandra Centre, where the duke met patients and staff before stopping for a chat with Macmillan nurse specialists.


Ninewells Cancer Campaign’s Dr Jacqui Wood

May 23 2011

Dr Jacqui Wood, the "beautiful, feisty" woman who spearheaded the Ninewells Cancer Campaign for 20 years, died peacefully at home in Broughty Ferry on Sunday at the age of 65, herself a victim of the disease she fought so hard to combat. The original campaign was set up in 1991 with the aim of raising £1 million to bring Professor Roland Wolf to Dundee to research and develop new and better cancer treatments. Professor Wolf said Dr Wood was "irreplaceable as a person but her legacy will be the continued fight against this invidious disease." Thanks to the tireless efforts of Dr Wood and her team, the tally raised for the Ninewells Cancer Campaign stands at £17 million, Dundee is a world-renowned centre for cancer research and, almost uniquely among charities, every penny raised goes directly to help fund its important work. Summing up the feelings of all who worked with Dr Wood over the years, the campaign's vice-chairman Lady Fiona Fraser expressed her sadness at the news. "The whole community of Dundee will be saddened by the news of Jacqui's death," she said. "She has been such a wonderful ambassador for further research and better treatments for cancer in Dundee. Her fund-raising efforts are legendary and her popularity immense. "We have lost a beautiful, feisty lady, respected and loved by all who met her. "She will be very sadly missed and our thoughts are with her family."ImmeasurableProfessor Wolf also paid tribute to the "immeasurable contribution" Dr Wood made to cancer research work at Dundee University. He said she had succeeded "not only in furthering our research work but in furthering the public's understanding of the science of cancer and joining the whole community together to develop new treatments for the disease." Dr Wood was born in Bradford but moved with her parents, first to Somerset and then to Lincolnshire. She married Aubrey in 1966 and they had two daughters, Sarah and Rachel, and one grandson, Matthew. She was a member of the local Cancer Research Committee and was appointed one of the town's youngest magistrates in 1983. When the family moved to Dundee in 1985, she carried on where she had left off. She was appointed a Justice of the Peace in Dundee in 1986, before moving to the Angus bench in 1996, holding the position until ill-health forced her to retire in 2009. Dr Wood became chairman of the Ninewells Cancer Campaign when it was founded in 1991. She formed an unlikely alliance with Dennis the Menace and charmed Taysiders into putting their hands in their pockets to Help Dennis Beat The Menace. Since then, £17 million has been raised to fund many projects, including the Biomedical Research Centre, the Princess Alexandra Cancer Treatment Centre at Ninewells Hospital, the Department of Surgery and Molecular Oncology and Photon Radio Surgery Systems.UniqueA unique feature of the charity is that no person has ever received a salary or expenses and every single penny raised goes directly to help fund the world leading research into cancer that is being undertaken at Ninewells. Dr Wood was appointed a non-executive director of Dundee Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust from 1993 to 1999 and in 1996 she established the Keyhole Kate charity shop on the concourse of Ninewells Hospital with the aim of raising funds for patient and visitor comforts. She was a committee member of CRC (now CRUK) Dundee and District Committee, from 1986, and served as president of the committee in 1990, 1991, 2005 and 2006. Dr Wood was also a trustee of the Leng Charitable Trust and was on the board of Dundee College. She was awarded the MBE in 1998 and honorary doctorates from the universities of Dundee, in 1999, Abertay, in 2005, and St Andrews, in 2009. She was also appointed Deputy Lieutenant of the City of Dundee in 2005. Dr Wood approached the honours heaped on her head with modesty and gratitude, always stressing the part played by others, and never lost her sense of humour. The irony of receiving a diagnosis for ovarian cancer in 2007 was not lost on her, and she approached the future in her customary forthright spirit. Dr Wood said then that she had every confidence in Ninewells Hospital and was certain that she would receive the very best treatment possible in Dundee. Her confidence was borne out when her husband Aubrey praised the care she received throughout her illness. "Unfortunately she had a very advanced stage of cancer but she managed to have three very good years before she started to get ill about a year ago," he said. "It was unbelievable how good the medical staff on ward 32 were and also the local nurses and doctors. "The local district nurses, in the last few weeks in particular, have been so kind and helpful."

Angus & The Mearns

Forfar sees plans for 100 homes at former Guide Dogs base

August 28 2017

Angus residents have been given their first chance to see plans for 100 houses on the former training base of Guide Dogs Scotland. Scotia Homes invited Forfar folk to see its plans for the site of demolished Princess Alexandra House, off Dundee Road. Guide Dogs were granted outline permission for up to 120 houses in 2006, but the development was not brought forward. The new project is for a smaller number of homes, with more single-level buildings and larger gardens. A spokesman said the development, between the town’s main southern road to Dundee, Airlie Crescent and Northampton Road, will “breathe new life” into an “unsightly” parcel of land. The main access for 90 homes will be from the main road, with a pedestrianised zone leading to Airlie Crescent in the direction of Strathmore Primary School. Access for another 10 would be built off Northampton Road. “Scotia Homes are working with Guide Dogs to bring a long-redundant and unsightly site back into full use for the benefit of businesses and residents in Forfar,” the spokesman said. “Should planning be successful the funds from the sale will be reinvested within Guide Dogs enabling them to continue their work transforming the lives of thousands of people with sight loss.” John Buchan of architects Michael Gilmour Associates said the response to the consultation had been generally “supportive”. “Some residents have asked whether coniferous trees on the border could be cut down and replaced with a more landscaped solution,” he said. “This plan is for 100 homes instead of 120. Just 10 will be accessed from the Northampton Road and the rest will use the existing access. “The hedge at the front will be retained and no properties will be overlooked. “The difference between the applications is that the development will follow the contours of the land, meaning no large retaining walls will be needed.” The charity’s original training centre, Princess Alexandra House, was opened by the royal on July 19 1965. Princess Alexandra again performed the honours in 2008 when the new flagship training building opened in Orchardbank Business Park, leading to the demolition of the former centre.

Victim confronts Barry Bennell ahead of sentencing

February 19 2018

One of the victims of paedophile football coach Barry Bennell walked over to the courtroom dock and confronted him ahead of sentencing.Police officer Gary Cliffe read out his victim personal statement from the witness box and then approached the glass dock and calmly said: “Barry. Barry. Why?”Bennell, 64, did not respond and looked downwards as a dock officer sat behind the defendant stood up and an usher intervened before a court police officer escorted Mr Cliffe, a detective constable with Staffordshire Police, to his seat in the packed public gallery.Mr Cliffe, who has waived his anonymity, was one of four complainants who went into the witness box at Liverpool Crown Court to read their statements, while those of three others were read out by prosecutor Nicholas Johnson QC.The former Crewe Alexandra coach and Manchester City scout is to be sentenced later for 50 child sexual offences, with many of those specimen counts to reflect the numerous occasions the “industrial scale” abuser targeted some of his 12 victims between 1979 and 1991.Bennell, wearing a pale blue jumper and grey jogging bottoms, stared ahead with his arms folded after he was initially brought into courtroom 42 but then looked downwards as the victim personal statements were read out.One victim who read a statement to the court said: “Not a day goes by without thinking about the abuse I received. I was just a child.“I am determined to claim back control of my life and live it to its fullest.”The court heard from another complainant, Chris Unsworth, who has also waived anonymity, that Bennell had “destroyed” his dream of becoming a professional footballer.Another victim said: “I feel I have never escaped my past and have never learned to cope … I feel Barry and Crewe Alexandra have completely stolen my life from me. The upset this man and Crewe Alexandra has caused me really is immeasurable.”Another complainant to go in the witness box told the court: “This man took my one and only childhood without a second thought and with no regret or remorse.“My parents feel responsible for not seeing what was going on but I do not hold them responsible at all in any way.”The fourth complainant to read out his statement in court said: “This monster decided it was fun to him use me as a sex toy. Someone he could get his kicks from.”Eleanor Laws QC, mitigating, said Bennell had suffered from cancer in the past and had operations to remove tumours from his tongue in 2004 and 2016 but was presently cancer free.She said he was also on anti-anxiety medication.She said: “All of this, we submit, means his time in custody will be less comfortable and more difficult than it would be for someone without all these concerns.”Miss Laws said Bennell had served a total of 10-and-a-half years in custody over three prison terms but had been at large for a total of nine years since 1994.There was no suggestion he had committed any offences since the mid-90s and had undergone a number of treatment programmes while in custody, she added.The Recorder of Liverpool, Judge Clement Goldstone QC, adjourned the case until 2.15pm when he will pass sentence.


Dundee to play key role in groundbreaking breast tissue bank

March 9 2011

A national charity investing £10 million creating a national tissue bank that will advance breast cancer research has chosen Dundee as a key location for the development. The city already has a well-established tissue bank at Ninewells Hospital that has been gathering samples for use in local research since 1997. Now, along with three other centres, experts from Dundee University and NHS Tayside will work together to run the UK's first national tissue bank, making samples available to researchers across the country. This coalition of centres will store breast tissue samples donated by patients throughout the country safely and consistently, and will be available to scientists in the UK and Ireland. There is not such a large resource of breast tissues like this available to scientists and doctors anywhere in the world. Historically access to suitable materials for research has been completely dependent on a scientist's location and contacts, according to Breast Cancer Campaign, the charity funding the national tissue bank with support from Asda's Tickled Pink campaign. The charity said the situation had been "a major barrier" to translating research into potential new treatments and, in the long term, saving lives. From tissue samples researchers will be able to glean vital but anonymous information about the patient, the characteristics of their cancer, family history, treatments and, over time, their effectiveness and whether the disease progresses or recurs. Professor Alastair Thompson is chairman of the Tissue Bank Management Board and professor of surgical oncology at Dundee University. He said, "The importance of the Breast Cancer Campaign Tissue Bank to both scientists and people with breast cancer cannot be underestimated. We really appreciate the support of the women and men of Tayside and north-east Fife who have long been supporters of tissue banking. "This revolutionary, national approach to tissue banking will ensure that research is fast-tracked from laboratory advances into clinical practice. In the coming years we will see the benefits for people with breast cancer, as research using tissues from the bank will lead to better prevention, earlier diagnosis and improved treatments which have the potential to save the lives of many thousands of people." The tissue bank is expected to cost £10 million over the next five years. Staff and customers of Asda raised over £1 million last year through the Tickled Pink campaign, part of the supermarket chain's commitment to the bank. In addition a grant of £1 million from breast cancer charity Walk the Walk has recently been awarded to the initiative as part of its long-term support of breast cancer causes. Asda chief financial officer Judith McKenna said, "The launch of this pioneering tissue bank is only possible because of the continued support we receive from customers and colleagues. We would like to thank everyone for their hard work and dedication over the past 15 years. "We hope this will play a significant role in helping the thousands of people who are diagnosed with breast cancer each year." Walk the Walk founder and chief executive Nina Barough said, "Our goal is to fund vital breast cancer research where we know it will make a huge difference to the lives of people with breast cancer. The Breast Cancer Campaign Tissue Bank undoubtedly fulfils this criterion and we are hugely excited to be awarding a grant to this groundbreaking project."


History of radiotherapy to be showcased in Ninewells Hospital

May 9 2016

Ninewells Hospital is hosting a permanent display which showcases the history of radiotherapy in Dundee. The five-panel wall display, which can be found in the Radiotherapy Department in the Princess Alexandra Centre at Ninewells, charts the development and many of the significant milestones in the use of radiotherapy in the treatment of patients. The display was created and designed collaboratively between Dr Hannah Lord, consultant clinical oncologist, Una Milne, Head of Therapeutic Radiography, Matthew Jarron, Curator of Museum Services, University of Dundee and Tayside Medical History Museum volunteer Sophie Hadden. The panels feature a variety of photographs and information creating a timeline path that weaves its way from the end of the 18th century with the laying of the foundation stone of Dundee Infirmary in 1794, through the pioneering clinical x-ray work of Dr George Pirie at Dundee Royal Infirmary at the end of the 19th century, ending in the present day with the latest linear accelerator at Ninewells Hospital. Dr Lord said: “My life-long interest in history and specifically the history of radiotherapy were the inspiration and driving force for this display. “There is a wealth of historical information relating to the pioneering work that took place in the development of radiotherapy in Dundee and I thought this would provide the perfect opportunity to highlight the inspiring work. “I hope that this display, which captures this journey,will be of interest to patients, staff and visitors.”