New centre will allow more patients to access cancer treatment

Monklands Hospital in Airdrie has been confirmed as the preferred location for a new state-of-the-art radiotherapy facility for the West of Scotland, which includes patients from south Ayrshire.

The NHS say the new facility will help meet rising demand for cancer treatment over the next ten years.

Monklands, which was one of two potential locations identified within the West of Scotland, was selected as the preferred option following a detailed assessment which took into account a range of factors including clinical benefits, patient access and travel times, site requirements and staffing. The other location considered was Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert.

Further work, including a detailed financial assessment, will now be carried out as part of the development of an outline business case for the proposed new facility. This will be considered by the Scottish Government and, if approved, additional detailed plans would be developed and submitted for final approval in early 2014. Construction could then start in Spring 2014 and the new facility could be operational by the end of 2015.

A design brief, setting out some of the key layout and design requirements for the new facility, 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.

Heather Knox, Chair of the West of Scotland Satellite Radiotherapy Project Board, said: “This new facility will not only increase capacity and help reduce waiting times but also allow many more patients to access cancer treatment services not previously available locally.”

“Both of the locations assessed offered a number of benefits however, when all of the clinical, building, travel and population factors were taken into account, Monklands Hospital offered the best solution.”

Operating as a satellite for the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre in Glasgow, the new radiotherapy facility will be equipped with the most advanced technology to deliver the same world-class treatment and techniques currently provided at the Glasgow cancer centre. Around 120 patients a day are expected to undergo radiotherapy treatment for lung, breast, prostate and rectal cancers in the proposed new satellite facility.

Dr David Dunlop, Clinical Director of the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, said: “Identifying a preferred location is a significant step which will allow us to progress plans for this important new facility.”

“Creating a new satellite facility will help us keep pace with anticipated future increases in demand for radiotherapy and ensure we are able to deliver the same world-class treatment and techniques currently provided at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre.”