New £20 million cancer treatment facilities

The newest hospital in the NHS, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, today announced the signing of a £20 million contract to provide a state-of-the-art radiotherapy department.

The multi-million pound deal will provide patients with the best treatment facilities available anywhere in the world and has been funded through a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) arrangement with Varian Medical Systems, Inc. the world's leading manufacturer of integrated systems for radiation therapy.

The equipment will become operational later this year and patients will be offered the very latest forms of radiotherapy, including IMRT (intensity modulated radiation therapy). Varian will equip the hospital with four state-of-the-art linear accelerators, a treatment simulator, and an afterloader for high dose rate brachytherapy.

The equipment will not only offer an advanced range of treatments but also reduce patient treatment times from many hours, down to minutes. It also will provide software for processing images, planning radiation treatments and managing clinical information systems.

The computerised cancer treatment network will include a dedicated radiotherapy CT scanner from General Electric Medical Systems for generating the images needed for treatment planning. This project reflects our commitment to providing cancer patients with the very best radiotherapy in the world.

Trust project manager Robert Hutchings said: “What makes this scheme so different is that all future requirements for the next 15 years have been included in the negotiated contract. This includes maintenance, all parts and future upgrades to keep the equipment up to date with cutting-edge clinical practice. Obsolescence has effectively been designed out of the agreement”.

Fiona Durban, who manages the trust's radiotherapy service said, “For staff and patients this is an unique opportunity to access the latest and most effective radiotherapy treatment. We are very fortunate to have a team of highly trained and enthusiastic therapists, physicists, nurses and doctors who will use this equipment to deliver state-of-the-art radiotherapy treatments. We are very excited by the treatment options we will be able to offer patients”.

The equipment, which is on its way from Varian Medical Systems' facilities in the US and Crawley, England, is planned for delivery in May and should be ready for clinical use towards the later part of the year.

Tuesday 12th of March 2002 06:00:11 AM