Oak Centre for Children and Young People

This 31-bed facility is one of the largest comprehensive children and young people’s cancer centres in Europe

The centre sees almost 900 inpatient stays and more than 20,000 day and outpatient visits every year. It is based in the heart of our Sutton hospital which means that our young patients benefit from a wealth of expertise around them; the care they receive is both comprehensive and tailored to their specific needs.

Location, directions and parking

You can enter the Oak Centre for Children and Young People from either the front entrance on Downs Road or the car park off Cotswold Road.

Facilities for disabled patients and visitors

We’ve worked with AccessAble to create accessibility information for the Oak Centre for Children and Young People.

Find out more about facilities for disabled patients and visitors at The Royal Marsden

Patient-centred design

The Centre has been designed around the needs of our young patients and their families. In fact, many children and young people who have been treated at The Royal Marsden contributed to the layout, design and colour schemes for the interior of the Centre.

Our aim was to create an environment with a variety of different spaces that all contribute to children's and young people's comfort, engagement and positive frame of mind. Our patients now have places where they can carry out normal routines, including age-appropriate areas where they can mix with others and quieter areas for when they wish to be alone.

All bed spaces were designed to enable the children and young people to personalise their environment, and each space is equipped with overhead television and Wi-Fi internet access. This helps them retain control of their immediate surroundings and stay connected with family and friends.


There is a schoolroom in the Centre which provides education for patients during their time in hospital, and we can visit children at their bedside if they are not able to come to the schoolroom. Our curriculum is based around fun, creative activities and games that also allow children to make progress in literacy and maths.

Specialist tuition in core curriculum subjects is available for older pupils, and we are able to support pupils who need to take public exams during their time in hospital. The schoolroom is open from 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm every weekday during term times.

Please contact us at schoolroom@rmh.nhs.uk or visit the schoolroom next time you are in hospital – we would love to meet you.

Play specialists

The centre has a team of play specialists who provide fun activities to engage the children and young people during time in hospital. There are three play areas for children and a social room for teenagers and young adults within the centre.

Play specialists are also available to provide therapeutic play to help support the children in preparation for procedures and in adjusting to the hospital surroundings. The play specialist team manager is Tanya Turner. 

McElwain Ward

McElwain Ward provides inpatient facilities for children aged 1 to 16. It has 18 beds including a dedicated room for radioisotope therapy. The ward also offers a full range of treatments including chemotherapy, radiotherapy, phase I and II clinical trials, MIBG therapy and stem cell transplant.

Facilities are available for parents to stay on the ward and there is a kitchen and lounge area for families. The ward sister is Sarah Davies.

Teenage Cancer Trust Unit

This 13-bed inpatient ward offers purpose-built facilities for teenagers and young adults with cancer aged 16-24. Patients have access to a chill-out room and a spacious educational activities room, all of which have been influenced by our work with Teenage Cancer Trust.

Teenage Cancer Trust part-funded the development of this ward and provides staff to support our teenagers and young adults, including an activities coordinator and a nurse consultant. We work closely with Teenage Cancer Trust to make the best use of their knowledge and expertise in looking after this age group.

The ward sister is Laura Turney.

Outpatient and Day Care Unit

This area has 22 beds/chairs for patients requiring day case admissions. There are seven outpatient rooms available for consultations with medical staff.

There is also access to age-appropriate waiting and play areas in the Outpatient and Day Care Unit. The sister for this unit is Jane Mashru.

Supported by The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity

Supporters of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity contributed £16 million to the cost of the Oak Centre for Children and Young People.

Your support helps us make a vital difference to the lives of cancer patients.

The Royal Marsden, Downs Road, Sutton, SM2 5PT