Our History

Our History

Beatson Cancer Charity was formed on 27 February 2014 following the merger of Friends of the Beatson and The Beatson Oncology Centre Fund. The resources of these two charities were brought together to create a single charity dedicated to supporting The Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre. 

The Man Behind the Beatson

Dr. George Beatson (26 May 1848 - 16 February 1933) later Sir George Beatson, was one of the International pioneers in the field of oncology and in the treatment of breast cancer. Born outside Campbeltown on the West Coast of Scotland he would go onto pursue his two main passions; The Medical and the Military.

In 1880 he moved to Glasgow where he set up a private practice in the western part of town. However, with wide-ranging interests and great energy, a career as a GP was short-lived for the ambitious young Dr Beatson. In 1893 he was appointed consulting surgeon to Glasgow Cancer Hospital. 

In this time his pioneering work saw him develop ideas about the nature of cancer and he then became fully dedicated to the search for better diagnosis and treatment for the disease. 

He was keen to ease the suffering of incurable patients, rich or poor by improving the conditions inside the hospital. In 1896, thanks to his organising and fundraising skills, the Glasgow Cancer Hospital was able to move into a more spacious environment.  

Not only did he strive for better treatment for patients, he planned for Cancer research to be given priority. Following a successful fundraising campaign, a dedicated Research Department was added to the hospital in 1912. Soon after, the Royal Highness, Duchess of Argyll declared the hospital to be known as the Royal Glasgow Cancer Hospital.  


George Beatson’s Legacy

In 1952, as a tribute to his achievements in cancer care The Royal Glasgow Cancer hospital was renamed the Royal Beatson Memorial Hospital. In 1988 it closed its door in Garnethill.  It then became the Beatson Oncology Centre at the Western Infirmary in Glasgow.  

In February 2008, the Hospital was moved and officially opened as a new dedicated cancer building named The Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Hospital in the Gartnavel campus in Glasgow’s west end.  It is Europe's busiest treatment centre serving 2.5million people across the West of Scotland.

Due to his work in cancer research, Beatson's name is featured in The Beatson Institute for Cancer Research - a world leading cancer treatment centre.

As a charity we are extremely proud to continue carrying the name and values of George Beatson. We will continue his legacy by supporting people affected by cancer, every step of the way.  

Alison quote

Beatson Cancer Charity’s message to patients and families is ‘We’re with you’ and we’re able to say that because of the incredible support we receive. We’re proud to have come so far in five years and there’s still so much more we can do together. Regular donations provide a reliable income that allows us to plan for future projects and services. Our vision is to extend our services to help more patients and families affected by cancer. You keep giving - we keep giving. Let’s see what we can achieve together in the next five years.
Alison McGregor - Charity Board Member