Proposals to create a new state-of-the-art radiotherapy facility for the West of Scotland have been developed to help meet rising demand for cancer treatment over the next ten years.
The innovative new facility, which would operate as a satellite facility for the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre in Glasgow, would increase access to the state-of-the-art radiotherapy treatments and allow many more patients in the West of Scotland to be treated closer to home.
Around 120 patients a day could undergo radiotherapy in the new facility which would focus on the treatment of lung, breast, prostate and bowel cancers.
West of Scotland NHS Boards support the initial plans for the new centre which would be equipped with the most advanced technology to deliver the same world-class radiotherapy treatment and techniques currently provided at the Beatson. These would be delivered by new linear accelerators which deliver high-energy radiation to shrink tumours and kill cancer cells. The very latest techniques, including intensity modulated radiotherapy which uses 3-D images to deliver precise doses of radiation the tumour whilst sparing healthy tissue, would also be used to provide customised treatment programmes tailored to the needs of individual patients.
Dr David Dunlop, Clinical Director of the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, said: As more people are living longer and more cancers being detected at an earlier stage the number of patients requiring radiotherapy is set to increase significantly across the West of Scotland in the future.
"The Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre is already the busiest radiotherapy centre in the UK and is currently operating at close to its maximum capacity. We therefore need to create a new satellite facility to keep pace with future increases in demand for this important cancer treatment.
"This would not only increase capacity and help reduce waiting times but also allow many patients to access diagnostic and cancer treatment services not previously available locally."
Two potential locations have already been identified for the new facility Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert and Monklands District General Hospital in Airdrie.
Work is now underway to explore and assess these options in more detail taking into account a wide range of factors such as travel times, catchment population and building requirements.
A design brief, setting out some of the key layout and design requirements for the new facility, has also 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.
Once a preferred location has been identified a more detailed plan will be developed and considered by the Scottish Government. If approved, construction could start in spring 2014 and the new facility, which is expected to cost around 25m, could be operational by the end of 2015.
For further information contact Elsbeth Campbell on 01786 457264.
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 Forth Valley
NHS Ayrshire and Arran
Copies of the Initial Agreement and Design Brief can be found on the business cases section of the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde website /about-us/nhs-board/finances-publications-reports/