A new clinical facility to house a Proton Beam Therapy (PBT) Centre and inpatient services at University College London Hospitals (UCLH) NHS Foundation Trust, has been approved by the UK Department of Health. The facility has been designed by Scott Tallon Walker (in association with Edward Williams Architects).
The UK government has invested £250 million in the development of two facilities to provide Proton Beam Therapy – one at UCLH and one at The Christie. PBT is a highly-targeted type of radiotherapy that can treat hard-to-reach cancers which can result in less damage to surrounding tissue or fewer other side effects. Both centres are expected to open to patients from 2018 and construction is due to start this summer.
Proton Beam Therapy uses a beam of protons (accelerated to a very high energy state) to deliver radiotherapy that is directed to a precise target area within the body with minimal collateral damage to surrounding tissue. This allows very rare cancers including tumours affecting the brain, neck and spine to be treated more effectively. UCLH, together with The Christie at Manchester, will provide the UK’s first such facilities to provide high energy proton beam therapy, and will begin treating NHS patients from 2018.
In addition, the STW designed scheme also houses a new short stay surgery centre. Particular design attention is being paid to patient flow and the overall design for Paediatric patients who will form a substantial part of the patient cohort for PBT.
The UCLH development is vital milestone in the process of improving health care by moving existing services into an integrated and centralised campus and introducing world leading PBT as a significant enhancement to therapeutic cancer treatment services throughout the UK.
Varian Medical Systems will provide the PBT equipment for both UCLH and The Christie.