THE final phase of the multi-million-pound West of Scotland Cancer Centre was launched this week.
The building contract for Phase II of the £87million Beatson Oncology Centre (BOC), at Gartnavel General Hospital, was this week awarded by Greater Glasgow NHS Board to Edinburgh-based Miller Construction.
The development, which will adjoin the Beatson's already existing Tom Wheldon Building, has been labelled the largest Treasury-funded new hospital construction in Scotland.
Announcing the chosen contractor, NHS Greater Glasgow Chief Executive Tom Divers said: "Patients and staff will undoubtedly benefit from the long-awaited development of the new West of Scotland Cancer Centre. It will be one of the finest specialist oncology units in the world."
BOC Project Manager, Stephen Baker, said: "All the bids for the building work were of an extremely high standard, but Miller Construction was selected because of the improvements it presented to medical planning, access and external views from the building. The company has considerable experience in hospital building and we will definitely benefit from that."
Stephen went on to explain that construction is scheduled to start onsite around July, after contractual formalities and detailed discussions with Glasgow City Council's Planning Services Department, and is due for completion in 2007.
The finished product will comprise five floors, which will include three floors of inpatient wards, varied patient and family information services, a pharmacy, outpatient areas with state-of-the-art scanning equipment, clinical trial and research space and an education suite for everything from student lectures to long-distance television links with other cancer specialists. The existing Tom Wheldon building will solely be used for outpatient radiotherapy.
Isobel Neil, BOC General Manager, said: "The interior of the new cancer centre as a whole will be designed to promote a sense of wellbeing among patients and staff, and the project team plans to appoint an artistic advisor who will help to develop a therapeutic environment.
"This approach was pioneered by the Glasgow Homeopathic Hospital, also on the Gartnavel site, where it has proved tremendously successful. We know that using the right colours, finishes and furniture can create positive surroundings for patients and a pleasant working environment for staff.
"Thanks to the support of our charitable partners - including Friends of the Beatson, Teenage Cancer Trust and Macmillan Cancer Relief - we will create a world class cancer treatment centre where comfort is inbuilt."
As the project progresses, Miller Construction will continue to work with BOC staff and patient user groups that helped to shape the plans for the new centre, and there will be ongoing consultation throughout.
BOC Medical Director Professor Alan Rodger said: "All staff involved have worked hard to get the project to this stage and I know they will be very pleased with the end result.
"The new centre will provide a great environment for patient care and will house the most up-to-date equipment available.
"Our staff, patients and their families deserve the very best, and thanks to the development of the new West of Scotland Cancer Centre they will receive this."
Robin Mackie, Managing Director of Miller Construction, added: "We are absolutely delighted to be awarded this contract and look forward to working with the Beatson to deliver an outstanding facility."
A JPeg image of the artist's impression of the new building is available on request.
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