1. ITV Report

Green light for £25m radiotherapy centre

What the new centre will look like Photo: Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust

A £25m radiotherapy centre for Colchester General Hospital has been given the go-ahead by planners.

Work on the new centre will start later this month, and could be treating cancer patients by the start of 2014.

The centre will replace the current facilities at Essex County Hospital. It will house three new linear accelerators - the machines used to provide radiotherapy for cancer patients.

Colchester Borough Council officers approved plans for the centre today, a decision welcomed by Dr Gordon Coutts, Chief Executive of Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust.

This is fantastic news for the Trust but particularly for the adult population of north east and mid Essex for whom we provide radiotherapy services.

We will be able to put in the most up-to-date machines and provide a quality service in a first-class environment for patients and carers

– Dr Gordon Coutts

0 0 1 541 3087 ITV PLC 25 7 3621 14.0 96 800x600 Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE /* Style Definitions */table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:EN-US;}

The new centre will furtherenhance the Trust’s reputation as a centre of excellence for cancer, he added.

A spokesman for the trust said that the facility had scope for two more linear accelerators and additional health care professionals as demand for radiotherapy grows.

The new centre will also have an orthovoltage unit, which will be used to administer radiotherapy totreat cancers of the skin and superficial tissues, and a brachytherapy unit,which will be used to administer a specialist radiotherapy treatment.

The centre will also have aCT scanner, which will help hospital staff to identify with precision where acancer is located in the body so that it can be treated accurately withradiotherapy.

The radiotherapy centre willbe the single biggest capital investment in the Health Service in Colchestersince Colchester General Hospital was built in the mid-1980s.

The Trust’s other cancerservices will also be relocated to Colchester General Hospital. Relocating cancer services toColchester General Hospital will also result in greater operational efficiency.

Clinical staff and serviceusers have played a major role in designing the new radiotherapy centre.