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Monklands earmarked as preferred location for new state-of-the-art radiotherapy facility

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 11:34 GMT on Friday, 19th April, 2013.
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MONKLANDS Hospital has been earmarked as the preferred location for a new state-of-the-art radiotherapy facility for the West of Scotland, in order to meet rising demand for cancer treatment over the next ten years.

The newly proposed Monklands Hospital facility will allow more patients to be treated closer to home and follows a detailed assessment, which looked into a number of essential factors including clinical benefits, patient access and travel times, site requirements and staffing.  The other location considered was Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert. 

Following the announcement the West of Scotland Satellite Radiotherapy Project Board said that 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, although a design brief, setting out some of the key layout and design requirements for the new facility, has already been developed.  

Any financial assessment, and design brief, will be considered by the Scottish Government and, if approved, additional detailed plans would be developed and submitted for final approval in early 2014 with construction earmarked for commencement in Spring 2014; and, the new facility possibly operational by the end of 2015. 

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.”

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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.”

Commenting, NHS Lanarkshire Chief Executive Ian Ross said that the announcement was “good news”.

He said: “This is good news for West of Scotland patients requiring cancer treatment services and is good news for Monklands Hospital.  Monklands Hospital is already NHS Lanarkshire’s identified cancer centre where we have a number of cancer services concentrated and is where the Lanarkshire Maggie’s Centre is currently under development.  The Radiotherapy Satellite Centre will be a very welcome addition on the site.

“We recognise, however, that this is a significant but early stage in the process and further work will be required to develop an outline business case for the new facility.”

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