Dyson Cancer Centre

The new Dyson Cancer Centre at the Royal United Hospitals (RUH) Bath NHS Foundation Trust is now welcoming patients, their loved ones and the wider community. The purpose-built facility will provide a cancer services hub for over 500,000 people in the south west. Here is more information about this innovative building and all that it offers.

The new Dyson Cancer Centre (DCC) at the Royal United Hospitals (RUH) Bath is now open. The centre, which has been under construction since 2021, has been designed to transform the care provided for patients, their families and carers, offering a nurturing and therapeutic environment that reduces stress and anxiety by promoting health and wellbeing.

The Dyson Cancer Centre brings together the majority of the RUH’s cancer services – including research – under one roof. It will provide oncology, chemotherapy and radiotherapy services, as well as a 22-bed inpatient ward and a Wellbeing Hub.

This has been an extraordinary collaborative project. The new centre is backed by over £40m in Government funding as part of the New Hospital Programme. The Dyson Cancer Centre was also supported by a £10m campaign from RUHX, the hospital’s official charity, including a £4m donation from the James Dyson Foundation and £1m by the Medlock Charitable Trust. A further £1.5m was donated by Macmillan Cancer Support to fund the Macmillan Wellbeing Hub. In total over 11,000 donors contributed to the fund, involving thousands of supporters across the local community who wanted to create this extraordinary new facility for the future community.

The additional £10 million raised by RUHX has made a world of difference to what has been possible to achieve at the Dyson Cancer Centre, including allocated space for family rooms, outdoor space for patients, almost double the space per inpatient that was previously available, and space for a dedicated hairdresser, benefits advice, and a pharmacy. There is also space allocated for over 60 clinical trials to take place onsite, creating future cutting-edge care for patients and clinicians and researchers located together to empower the best research success.

The Atrium in the Dyson Cancer Centre, showing the Chinoiserie mural by Mark Sands

All non-surgical cancer services are for the first time under one roof, which will provide a seamless experience for patients and will reduce patient and family stress and anxiety throughout the patient journey.

A key feature of the new centre is the Macmillan Wellbeing Hub, funded by Macmillan Cancer Support, which provides a welcoming, non-clinical space designed around the needs of patients and their families. Spread across three floors, the hub includes counselling rooms, complementary therapy spaces, information space, and comfortable accommodation where relatives and loved ones can stay overnight.

Natural inspiration around ‘Land, Sea and Sky’

Being connected to nature has been shown to support mental and physical health and many of the treatment rooms have views of outside green spaces and the surrounding countryside. The inpatient ward surrounds a light filled central courtyard which will allow for bed access so patients can enjoy outside peace and tranquility.

The building has been designed by Arcadis to bring the outside in, using natural textures, tones, and colours in a variety of materials that will create a relaxed and welcoming environment without compromising on the complex medical equipment that is required.

All the art in the centre is funded by RUHX, the hospital’s official charity. This includes the new Ambient Room space with the Woodland Study film installation by artist Chrystel Lebas, providing a place of refuge and contemplation for patients, families and staff. In total there are 80 art locations with over 100 art pieces in the new centre, including the Bulrushes painting in the Atrium donated by artist Deidre Dyson, James Dyson’s wife. The theme ‘Land, Water and Sky’ runs throughout the art within the building to provide a calming and uplifting environment for patients and staff, themes that naturally rise towards the ‘Sky’ on the second floor.

The design of the building considers different accessibility needs and provides a dementia and disability friendly environment with comprehensive signage throughout to help people find their way. The centre has been created as a nurturing and therapeutic environment, making use of art and design, natural light, open spaces, and noise reduction technology to reduce stress and anxiety as well as more rooms to safely hold private conversations.

This innovative new cancer centre has been created in collaboration with around 1,000 skilled workers, construction partner Kier Group and tradespeople, including many local businesses and craft supporters. Bristol-based Arcadis were the architects and interior designers. Spike Island Production Studios were technical advisors and installers of the audio visuals for the Ambient Room and Dan Weeks of Honest Studio designed all the wooden RUHX supporter recognition signage. Mathew Hawker donated the locally sourced stone (which is 150 million years old) for the plinth for Hamish Mackie’s Swifts sculpture and Ryan Wells of Cathedral Stone Masons donated time to prepare the stone plinth. Ian Heseltine provided the wooden outdoor furniture in the inpatient courtyard and the Melton Gallery in Bath framed the artworks. Light artist Bruce Munro donated a range of framed prints and greatly subsidised the cost of his Time and Again light installation.

Amy Shelton’s botanical lightbox installation in the Radiotherapy department, using flowers collected from the renowned gardens designed by Piet Oudolf at the Hauser & Wirth gallery in Bruton, Somerset


The new building has achieved a BREEAM Excellent rating – this is the assessment process for sustainability for new developments, which covers the design, construction and future management of the building. The building fabric was tested throughout the construction process and meets high standards for thermal insulation, air tightness and high levels of efficiency for heating, cooling, powering, and lighting. The sustainability credentials feature the inclusion of 290 sqm solar panels on the roof to generate electricity; the use of marmleoum flooring, which is linoleum, a natural product; and the use of recycled air in special equipment, managing air pressure in in-patient rooms to repel potentially devasting infection.

This grand project started with RUHX launching its fundraising in 2012. Building work then commenced in the summer of 2021 and now, less than three years later, this extraordinary new facility opens to patients to help fight one of the most challenging diseases that can ever be faced.

Art, sculpture and installations in the Dyson Cancer Centre, following the theme of ‘Land, Water and Sky’

Arts and Design manager at the RUH, Hetty Dupays, and two volunteers Lucy Newark and Diana Lanham have worked to ensure that art, sculpture, and installations play an important role in the Dyson Cancer Centre. These works provide a rich representation of nature throughout with subtle, elegant imagery and graphics. Here are some of the artists who have contributed their work:

• Mark Sands created the large-scale Chinoiserie mural located in the airy space of the Atrium entrance. Inspired by the landscape surrounding his home in Portugal, the work is painted on three six-metre long canvases, called Bee Eaters in Olive Trees (shown in Atrium above).
• The Woodland Study immersive installation in the Ambient Room off the main Atrium by artist Chrystel Lebas, a looped one-hour film recorded in an ancient bluebells forest in Wiltshire.
• Murals and vinyls by Natasha Clutterbuck inspired by precious pollinators and the seasonal shifts in the forest garden, with highlights in gold leaf, funded by Macmillan Cancer Support
• A series of beaded artworks created by print and pattern designer Lisa Todd, made by Zulu and Xhosa women in South Africa who interpreted Lisa’s paintings using traditional beadwork techniques.
• Artist Kate Bond’s series of murals in the Chemotherapy Suite, inspired by the Green Heart Garden and other beautiful gardens in the region – one of her designs covers 24 linear metres of the Chemotherapy Suite.
• A selection of donated framed prints by light artist Bruce Munro and (at greatly reduced cost) the light installation Time and Again, sited in an outdoor courtyard, where 19 stainless steel lilies form a convex dome.
• Sculptor Hamish Mackie’s Swifts sculpture, an 80-kilo bronze sculpture created as a symbol of hope and optimism, which forms the focal point of the first floor courtyard.
• Amy Shelton made a large-scale botanical lightbox installation, one of her series of Florilegium artworks, for the Radiotherapy department, using a biodiverse palette of local flora.

State-of-the-art medical equipment at Dyson Cancer Centre

RUHX, which has always been there supporting the hospital to treat and care for cancer patients, has played an important part in the provision of the equipment in the new cancer centre. Some of the medical equipment used to treat cancer at the RUH today, provided by RUHX includes:

• The hospital’s first Surgical Robot – costing £2.3 million, and funded 100% by RUHX – is used daily in theatres (treating patients who will have been diagnosed in the centre) and treating Gynaecological, Colo-Rectal and Prostate cancer patients.
• New Artificial Intelligence Radiotherapy planning software –part-funded by RUHX – provides oncologists with a precise contour of organs and more targeted radiation treatment, meaning more time can be spent with patients and accurate treatment plans produced more easily and quickly.
• New Gamma CT camera – critical in the diagnosis of and treatment planning of cancer, this will scan around 4,000 patients a year.
• Chemotherapy air gloves – to help cannulation of patients whose veins can be fragile or hidden after chemotherapy treatment
• New Breast Cancer ultrasound room – allowing an extra 30,000 scans per year to help the early diagnosis of breast cancer.

The Macmillan Wellbeing Hub, featuring a mural by Natasha Clutterbuck

Profiles of three RUHX supporters

Sue Wedlock – Cancer survivor and fundraiser
Sue Wedlock (who sadly lost her husband, folk singer Fred, to cancer aged 67) has fundraised and worked with RUHX for many years to help fund the new Dyson Cancer Centre by arranging RUH Bath hospital bake sales and jazz picnics and concerts along with the Keynsham and Saltford RUHX fundraising group. Sue has also been treated at the RUH Bath in the past year for Bowel and Liver cancer, from which she has just been given an all clear.

Sue said about the new Dyson Cancer Centre “It’s such a lovely, light and sympathetic place for cancer patients to be cared for by the wonderful RUH Bath cancer services team that I really cannot speak highly enough of. It’s even more important to me having just been cared for by the staff that work here.”

Nic Noble – £1 million Cancer Care fundraiser
Nic Noble has raised £1 million to help fund cancer care at the RUH Bath, including for the new Dyson Cancer Centre, in memory of her sister Vanessa Kyte. The Walk of Life was started in 2005 by Vanessa, who sadly passed away on 15 November 2007, seven years after being diagnosed with breast cancer, which developed into secondary lung cancer and brain tumours. Her passion for fundraising sparked her and her sister to begin the Walk of Life with RUHX.

Nicola says: “Ness was inspirational all the way through, right from the start. Every single one of those pounds donated or fundraised has got a story and I have met the most incredible people with Ness and without her.”

Gary Cook – Major Cancer Care fundraiser
The Rodney Cook Memorial (RCM) Rally was initially set up in 2018 by Gary Cook, in memory of his dad Rodney Cook who sadly passed away at the RUH after having cancer in 2017. Gary’s dedication in supporting cancer services with this event means that the proceeds go towards providing better cancer care. Across the five years the RCM rallies have raised an extraordinary £180,000 for RUHX.

Gary Cook says, “The staff who cared for my father at the RUH were quite simply incredible, caring, and wonderful people.
I felt compelled to try and do something to raise some money for RUHX to repay that kindness. So, from something awful, the RCM Rally was born.”

The Dyson Cancer Centre: ruh.nhs.uk