NEWS that Southampton General Hospital is to take part in a world class scientific project costing hundreds of millions of pounds should not surprise us.

For although the hospital has made headlines more recently for its decision to end its relationship with a fast food chain that had been trading from the site for 20 years, it is better known internationally as a world class centre of medical excellence.

This latest work will see the hospital join with other centres throughout Britain taking part in a project to revolutionise care for those living with cancer and other serious diseases.

University Hospital Southampton NHS Trust (UHS) has been named one of 11 centres across the country to play a vital role in a national genome initative that is set to transform diagnosis and treatment for patients battling some of the most lifethreatening illnesses.

It could mean that patients suffering from some of the rarest and most debilitating diseases can get a clear and conclusive diagnosis that was never possible before, ensuring they get the right treatments and giving them the best chance of survival.

The role also underscores Southampton Hospital’s dual existence as both a centre for ground breaking medical research and a provider of care for our local communities.

And while discussions over the quality of hospital food and other local issues are important,we should not lose sight of our hospital’s wider role and reputation