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This content is taken from the The University of Glasgow's online course, Cancer in the 21st Century: the Genomic Revolution. Join the course to learn more.
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The Beatson Cancer Charity

As well as hearing how Christine got on in later weeks of this course, throughout this course you will find various patient stories (steps 2.3, 4.3 and 6.3). All of these patients have been treated at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre which you can read some more information on below:

The Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre (The Beatson) is an internationally renowned cancer centre and the busiest in the UK in terms of clinical activity and patient numbers.

Scotland’s primary cancer centre

The Beatson is the second largest cancer centre in the UK and delivers all of the radiotherapy and much of the chemotherapy to the population of the West of Scotland, with a catchment area of 2.5 million people, which is around 50% of Scotland’s population. Each year The Beatson sees more than 8,000 new patients and delivers more than 25,000 courses of chemotherapy and 6,500 courses of radiotherapy.

World-class facilities

The Beatson is based within NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde on the Gartnavel Hospitals campus. Equipped to an extremely high standard, it has 146 inpatient beds, 48 chemotherapy stations and 12 linear accelerators for delivering radiotherapy. The Centre provides cancer patients and staff with the most cutting edge equipment, treatments and surroundings to treat cancer.

The Beatson is staffed by around 950 skilled and dedicated healthcare professionals across a range of disciplines.

As a regional service, The Beatson has clinical links through service delivery with 16 West of Scotland hospitals (Gartnavel General Hospital, South Glasgow University Hospital, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, the New Victoria Hospital, the New Stobhill Hospital, Royal Alexandra Hospital, Vale of Leven Hospital, Inverclyde Royal Hospital, Monklands Hospital, Wishaw General Hospital, Hairmyres Hospital, University Hospital Crosshouse, University Hospital Ayr, Forth Valley Royal Hospital and Lorn & Islands Hospital) across five NHS Health Boards. The Lanarkshire Beatson based at Monklands Hospital is a satellite centre with two linear accelerators providing services to patients within NHS Lanarkshire being treated with radiotherapy.

The Beatson is a key partner in the Cancer Research UK Glasgow Centre along with Cancer Research UK, the CRUK Beatson Institute, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, and the Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde. It aims to integrate Glasgow’s considerable strengths in cancer research which stretch from basic biology all the way through to clinical care.

Patient and Family Support Services

Beatson Cancer Charity provides a wide range of wellbeing services and complementary therapies for current and former patients and family members at times when they really need support.

These services are delivered through our unique and award-winning Wellbeing Centre on the 4th floor of The Beatson, on the wards of The Beatson and at satellite locations where Beatson patients are treated. These include the New Victoria Hospital, South Glasgow University Hospital, Royal Alexandra Hospital and The Lanarkshire Beatson at Monklands Hospital.

The Wellbeing Centre in the Beatson offers a peaceful space where patients can relax away from the clinical environment of the ward, read a newspaper, enjoy a cup of tea or a fresh fruit smoothie and have a chat with family, friends or members of our experienced team. It is open from 9am to 9pm, seven days a week and the superb facilities include a hair salon, cinema with Sky TV channels, treatment rooms and a lounge with fantastic views over the west end of Glasgow and beyond.

Therapies on offer include podiatry, reflexology, massage, relaxation, stress management, reiki, holistic facials, manicures and pedicures.

We also provide a much appreciated tea trolley service for patients and relatives while they attend clinic appointments, and we provide daily newspapers and weekly magazines to waiting areas as well as floral arrangements to brighten up reception and waiting rooms.

Our services are on offer to inpatients on the wards of The Beatson, day patients receiving chemotherapy, out patients attending for clinic appointments and radiotherapy patients attending for treatment.

All treatments are aimed at relieving stress and anxiety, aiding relaxation and sleep and helping to cope with loneliness, pain and discomfort.

We also provide a welcome service for everyone arriving at the main entrance to The Beatson. Our Welcome Desk Advisors accompany patients, family members or visitors to their destination within the hospital or signpost them to other organisations for appropriate help and support.

We engage with patients and their families through our specialist services which includes organising entertainment and activities to motivate and engage, arranging practical help such as the provision of basic items of clothing, encouraging gentle exercise, providing emotional support and befriending.

Our services are very popular with the Wellbeing Centre hosting over 10,500 visits from patients and 7,000 from friends and family per year. In addition to this we deliver over 7,500 therapies a year and the tea trolley service provides over 18,000 cups of tea and coffee a year.


We are committed to providing significant funding and services to enhance the experience, treatment, outcomes and wellbeing of current and former cancer patients and their families or carers in partnership with The Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre.

We provide a range of patient and family support services and facilities including patient wellbeing and complementary therapy services delivered throughout the cancer centre and through our unique and award winning Wellbeing Centre as well as in other locations. We also fund many specialist posts including specialist nursing, radiography, physics and research-based staff as well as enhanced medical equipment, innovative service developments, novel research projects and developmental staff training.

We support the vision of Glasgow being an internationally renowned comprehensive cancer centre attracting the highest calibre of professional staff and developing ground breaking, novel and pioneering techniques and treatments that will change the face of cancer treatment on a local, national and international scale. We will undertake significant activity in pursuit of these goals through a partnership working approach.

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This article is from the free online course:

Cancer in the 21st Century: the Genomic Revolution

The University of Glasgow