Plans approved to extend cancer treatment facilities at NNUH
Plans have been approved for an expansion of the world class radiotherapy facilities at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, increasing the radiotherapy capacity by a third over the next five years.
The new facility will be located next to the hospitals Mulbarton ward which provides treatment for cancer patients. The unit will house two more linear accelerators, making a total of six linacs at NNUH. The equipment will provide radiotherapy for a range of cancers and works by using high energy x-rays to destroy cancer cells.
The plans also include a new orthovoltage treatment room with equipment which can treat cancers which sit near the surface of the body, such as some skin cancers. The new build will include a waiting area, office space and two consulting rooms.
To help cancer patients avoid a hospital admission, there will be space for a new Acute Oncology Suite close to the ward area. The acute service provides rapid assessment and treatment for patients who are experiencing complications with their cancer or its treatment.
Dr Tom Roques, Consultant Oncologist, says: Radiotherapy is a very effective treatment for curing many patients of their cancer and can also be used to manage symptoms even if the cancer is incurable. With life expectancy rising, we anticipate more people will need treatment for cancer in the future and this expansion is critical to help meet that need.
We have a staged plan for installing the equipment with the first linear accelerator to be installed once the building work is complete and a second one due to be installed in 2015.
The Trust is making an investment of £4.5m over the next four years, covering the building works and equipment. At the moment, about 200 patients receive radiotherapy each month at NNUH and the expansion will increase our capacity to meet the growing need for this service.
The construction work will start in October 2012 with the first patients being treated in the new facilities by the end of summer 2013.
Notes to editors
Patients requiring radiotherapy are referred to NNUH from other local hospitals such as the James Paget Hospital and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital at Kings Lynn.