The Christie opens the doors of the UK's first NHS high energy proton beam therapy centre

This is the award entry for The Christie Proton Beam Therapy Centre , entered by Interserve in the Best Acute Hospital Development (value >£10m) category

The Christie Proton Beam Therapy Centre is the UK's first NHS high-energy PBT centre

Interserve working in partnership with The Christie delivered the UK's first NHS high-energy Proton Beam Therapy (PBT) centre on time and under budget.

This latest technology uses an advanced form of radiotherapy to treat complex and hard-to-treat cancers in children and adults.

The Department of Health selected The Christie as one of two service providers, together with UCLH.

Procured at the same time, The Christie adopted P21+ - a speedier procurement route, meaning patients will benefit from this advanced treatment in 2018, and 2020 at UCLH.

When fully operational the new facility will treat 750 people a year, positively impacting patients and families by saving lives and preventing the need for expensive and stressful travel abroad for treatment.

PBT uses a high-energy beam of protons to deliver a dose of radiotherapy precisely where it is needed with minimal damage to surrounding tissue.

This prestigious five-storey, 15,000sq m building provides four treatment rooms; a patient reception; consultation rooms and public space, meeting the specific needs of patients' staff and visitors.

The building is futureproofed with space for the trust to expand. The 90Tcyclotron feeds three treatment gantries that rotate around the patients to best target the tumour.

The design sets a precedent for future developments by incorporating a fourth gantry, a unique facility for research and development, ensuring The Christie provides enhanced treatment and maintains its international reputation as leading experts in cancer care, research and education.

The patient experience drove the design focus, with natural daylighting and landscaping being prioritised.

This provides a warm, therapeutic and inviting space aimed at reducing fear and anxiety for what will predominately be paediatric patients.

To create a sense of community the main waiting area has been designed as a winter garden, integrating light, vegetation and social interaction.

Interserve travelled extensively to bring the benefit of international expertise and learning to the UK, overcoming numerous challenges to deliver this world-class facility, given that no blueprint existed.

The building boasts some impressive statistics:

  • Concrete walls up to 6m thick to contain radiation
  • 20,000m³ of in-situ concrete and 1,700 tonnes of reinforcement
  • Reinforcement bars up to 100mm in diameter
  • 10km of service pipework carefully threaded through rebar
  • 48,000 tonnes of concrete, equivalent of a space shuttle

The world-class building is the first PBT centre to target a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating.

Reclaiming heat from the Proton Beam equipment will make a significant contribution to the BREEAM scoring.

The project was delivered successfully in suburban Manchester on the UK's busiest cancer hospital site, with no impact on residents and fully maintaining infection prevention regimes, privacy, and dignity of immune-suppressed patients.

The achievement of consecutive Considerate Constructor gold awards confirmed the commitment to sustainability, carbon reduction, safety and the community.

The Care Quality Commission gave the trust an improved ranking of ‘Outstanding' while delivering the project and confirmed the trust as the county's leading specialist organisation.

This is an exemplar project demonstrating the importance of staff, patients and other stakeholders working in collaboration throughout all stages of the project.

The P21+ healthcare framework supports and promotes this collaborative approach, which extended to sharing lessons learnt with UCLH, benefiting the national PBT programme.

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