Monklands and Forth Valley hospitals preferred choice for new west of Scotland cancer treatment facility
Plans for a new radiotherapy facility in the west of Scotland gathered pace this week when Monklands Hospital and Forth Valley Royal Hospital were identified as the preferred locations for the building.
The facility, which would operate as a satellite unit for the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre in Glasgow, is being developed to meet a rising demand for cancer treatment over the next 10 years.
It would allow people to be treated closer to home, with 120 patients a day undergoing radiotherapy for lung, breast, prostate and bowel cancers. World-class radiotherapy treatment would be delivered by new linear accelerators using high-energy radiation to shrink tumours and kill cancer cells.
Dr David Dunlop, clinical director of the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, said: “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. This would not only increase capacity and help reduce waiting times but also allow many patients to access cancer treatment services not previously available locally.”
Work is now underway to decide where the centre should be sited, taking into account a range of factors such as travel times, catchment population, and building requirements. 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.