Since its creation, our Department has enjoyed significant quantitative and qualitative growth in the areas of patient care, teaching and research. Cancer is an increasingly common illness; we offer high-quality care linked to clinical and translational research, applying the knowledge of basic research to the prevention and treatment of clinical cases. This means we can see patients from outside our catchment area who can participate in clinical trials. We are a reference centre in all areas of clinical oncology.
These diseases are complex to diagnose and treat, making a multidisciplinary approach essential. That is why our Department works to incorporate a range of professional techniques and contributions to tackle all aspects of care and integrate them into the care process. This means we can improve the care process and ensure quality. Examples of this are our genetic counselling and high-risk illness prevention clinics.
In accordance with the analysis and forecasts included in the latest version of the Catalan Health Plan and the Oncology Master Plan, we must bring forward priority actions in the field of oncological disease in Catalonia. Vall d'Hebron University Hospital is especially equipped to offer a comprehensive Oncology Care Plan, with different services all working in coordination. This is possible thanks to our specialised departments such as Medical Oncology, Radiation Oncology, Clinical Haematology, surgical specialties, medical specialties, Pathological Anatomy, Image Diagnostics and Primary Care. Our professional expertise and ability to work in collaboration are the key to fulfilling this mission.
This is why care for people suffering from oncology is structured into processes in place for all operations, with appropriate timing based on a holistic vision of the care process. At our Department, we incorporate everything these patients need in terms of prevention, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up.
We base this oncological care on three central pillars: our staff, equipment and clinical research. On the one hand, we guarantee the excellence of our staff through internal training programmes in the field of hospital care, as well as establishing collaboration and training exchanges with other renowned, prestigious centres. On the other hand, we offer the latest equipment and carry out clinical, translational and basic research.
We are working to incorporate primary care into the network of oncology treatment at the Hospital, as we believe holistic care in oncology requires incorporation and coordination of all the different healthcare areas involved in treating patients.
As mentioned previously, research is one of the key pillars of our Department, and we are present at the most prestigious international forums where future research and oncological care are discussed. We participate in Cancer Core Europe, the largest cancer platform in Europe, where our Department is one of just seven European departments present.
We have a biomedical research centre made up of scientists and doctors who work together to link basic science with clinical research: the Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO). Our main purpose is to promote and develop excellence in research into oncological diseases.
The VHIO also works to increase our contribution to the development of new therapies that improve the treatment of cancer. Its goals also include modelling scientific practices in the clinic for the benefit of oncology patients, excellence in scientific research in the fields of basic, translational and clinical research, and scientific cooperation between national and international cancer research institutions. By promoting all activities related to cancer research, we contribute to improving the quality of life of our patients.
The Vall d’Hebron Medical Oncology Department witnessed a vital moment in its trajectory when Dr. Josep Baselga joined in 1996. He laid the first stone of the current Department, now directed by Dr. Josep Tabernero, and converted the hospital into a world-leading centre.
Fermín Fernández Álvarez, Porter Coordinator, explains the importance of the role these professionals play in the hospital. After 36 years at Vall d’Hebron, Fermín is a real master of the ways things are done. He says that a porter has to combine humility, discretion and safety with a single goal: that patients receive human and friendly treatment.
The constant search for excellence is part of Hospital Vall d’Hebron’s nature. The biggest hospital in Catalonia and the leader in many fields, headed since February 2015 by Dr. Vicenç Martínez Ibáñez, who has a close personal and professional relationship with the Hospital. Dr. Martínez Ibáñez says that if Vall d’Hebron did not exist, it would need to be invented. The current director trained at the hospital, where he was one of the protagonists of an historic moment: the first paediatric liver transplant in Spain. Now, he is committed to continuing this legacy and, always putting the patient first, achieving excellence across all staff.
The Neonatology Department’s Sibling Project is a workshop for the siblings of new-born babies admitted to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit in the Vall d’Hebron Maternity and Children's Hospital. Through simulated games and situations, the project prepares them to get used to seeing their younger siblings in a hospital medical setting.
Vall d’Hebron University Hospital’s kitchen serves more than 1,000 meals a day, twice a day, not counting breakfast. A reality that José Parrilla and Carmina Esteban know all too well.From three kitchens to one and from coal to gas. That is how the hospital’s catering service has evolved. A place where the needs of each patient must be taken into account and where there is room for small, juicy anecdotes.
The former head of the Thoracic Surgery Department, Dr. Mercè Canela, recently retired, recalls the important evolution of the Department to become a leader in Spain and a lung transplant pioneer. A task made possible thanks to collaboration with professionals from other departments, an added value in the personal and team environment.
Rosalia Moure arrived at Vall d’Hebron University Hospital in 1967. She spent her entire working life in the linen and laundry department of the Hospital. Rosalia Moure has witnessed the Hospital’s big transformations, from dictatorship to democracy and from analogue to digital systems.
Dr. Josep Sánchez de Toledo Codina, head of the Paediatric Haematology and Oncology Department, tells us about a Department that has laid the foundations for the specialism in Spain. He also remembers the evolution of transplants from haematopoietic stem cells and progenitors, from the beginning, buying the material at a shop in Barcelona city centre, to the more than 1,200 transplants that have now been performed.
Dr. Francesc Bosch, Head of the Haematology Department, talks about the complexity of the Department, which has turned Vall d’Hebron into a reference centre in haematology thanks to its commitment to transplants and the use of new treatments. The Clinical Trials Unit helps a lot, giving access to treatments for complex patients.