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New Beatson satellite unit takes shape

The new Beatson unit in Airdrie which will be used by all patients in the west of Scotland.

The new Beatson unit in Airdrie which will be used by all patients in the west of Scotland.

The first images of the new satellite radiotherapy centre for the West of Scotland have been unveiled to mark the completion of detailed plans for this important new facility.

The name of the proposed new centre, which will be built at Monklands General Hospital in Airdrie, has also been confirmed as The Lanarkshire Beatson.

Designed to meet rising demand for radiotherapy treatment over the next ten years and enable more patients, including those from south Ayrshire, to be treated closer to home, the new Lanarkshire Beatson will operate as a satellite of the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre in Glasgow.

It will be equipped with the most advanced technology to deliver the same world-class treatment and techniques currently provided at the Glasgow centre.

This includes two new state-of-the-art linear accelerators, which deliver high-energy radiation to shrink tumours and kill cancer cells, with expansion space for a third machine, if required. The centre will also have a CT simulator to help plan radiotherapy treatment. This will enable around 80 patients a day who require radiotherapy for lung, breast, prostate and rectal cancers to be treated.

Initially, the majority of patients are expected to come from Lanarkshire. However over time, patients from other West of Scotland areas, including parts of Forth Valley and Glasgow, may also be treated at the new facility. As the aim is to ensure that patients do not have to travel any further than they currently do for treatment, patients from NHS Ayrshire & Arran would continue to be treated at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre in Glasgow.

The Full Business Case, which sets out the case for the new centre along with detailed financial and operational plans, has now been submitted to the Scottish Government. If approved, construction would start at the end of May 2014 and the centre is expected to be operational by the end of 2015.

Janette Fraser, Chair of the West of Scotland Satellite Radiotherapy Project Board, said: “The completion of these detailed plans is an important milestone and the development of the first computer generated images also gives a first glimpse of what the new centre could look like.

“It’s really exciting to see the designs for the new centre start to take shape and discussions are also underway with a number of cancer charities to look at how we can enhance the facilities and services available. This includes exploring opportunities for volunteering and a range of art projects to help create a warm, welcoming and comfortable environment for patients and visitors.”

A design brief, setting out some of the key layout and design requirements for the new centre, has already been developed. This highlights existing good design practice and outlines the type of internal and external features required to create the best possible environment for patients and staff.

 

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