Construction work on a new £22m radiotherapy centre for the West of Scotland is set to start in the next few weeks following the approval of detailed plans. The centre, which will be known as the Lanarkshire Beatson, is being built at Monklands General Hospital in Airdrie, to help meet rising demand for radiotherapy treatment over the next ten years.
Operating as a satellite of the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre in Glasgow, the new centre will be equipped with the most advanced technology and equipment to deliver the same world-class treatment 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.
Following the Scottish Government’s approval of the Full Business Case, which sets out the detailed plans for the new centre, construction work is due to start at the end of May 2014 and the centre is expected to be operational by the end of 2015. 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.
Janette Fraser, Chair of the West of Scotland Satellite Radiotherapy Project Board, said: “The approval of these detailed plans is the final step in the development process and we are delighted that we now have the green light to create this important and much needed new facility.
“As a great deal of work has already been carried out over the last year to finalise the design and layout we will be able to move forward very quickly with the construction. This means the new centre could be treating patients in around 18 months time.”
Discussions are also underway with a number of cancer charities, including the new Beatson Cancer Charity and Macmillan Cancer Support, to look at opportunities for volunteering and a range of initiatives to help create a warm, welcoming and comfortable environment for patients and visitors.
Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing Alex Neil said: “This is an important step forward in this new £22 million radiotherapy facility at Monklands Hospital, which will mean that more patients in the West of Scotland will be able to access the best possible treatment closer to home.
“This is very important as we drive home our message to Detect Cancer Early, get treatment and see more people continuing to survive this disease.
“I look forward to seeing this exciting development progress.”
Notes to Editors
*The following NHS Boards currently access radiotherapy services at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre and support the development of a new satellite radiotherapy facility for the West of Scotland:
• NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
• NHS Lanarkshire
• NHS Forth Valley
• NHS Ayrshire and Arran
• NHS Dumfries and Galloway
Copies of the Full Business Case, Outline Business Case, Initial Agreement, Design Brief, can be found on the business cases section of the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde website.
For further information contact NHS Forth Valley’s Communication Department on 01786 457264.