First NHS Proton Beam Therapy centre

Friday, 30th June 2017

First NHS Proton Beam Therapy centre on target to open for first treatment in Manchester in 2018

Pro-Manchester hosted a breakfast event sponsored by Mills & Reeve on 28th June 2017. Jason Dawson from The Christie NHS Foundation Trust and Phil Shaw of Interserve Construction North West provided delegates with an update on the progress of the delivery of the Proton Beam Centre at the Christie.

Jason started the event citing Manchester’s 25 Nobel prizes and delivered the first library, railway, and computers amongst other things. Manchester has had many “firsts”, and now Manchester is to be the first to open a Proton Beam Centre in August 2018. It was good to hear from Jason and Phil that they are on target to meet the opening date. At the Pro-Manchester event last year the complexities of installing the centre and the challenges that they would face were discussed. A year down the line it was interesting to hear how the 300 strong labour force on site had to control cracking of the concrete installed as shielding to provide radiation protection, and used technology to do this, which involved receiving text messages when the right conditions had been met to move on to the next stage. Phil explained that the amount of concrete which was used was the equivalent of 4,000 concrete mixer lorries which lined up would span the distance from Manchester to Liverpool.

The Christie recently took delivery of the 90 tonne machine, the cyclotron which has been named Emmeline, in honour of Emmeline Pankhurst who was born in Manchester. The new equipment will allow cancer patients to receive state of the art treatment which limits damage to the tissue around the tumour. There has been increased demand for such treatment especially since the treatment has evolved over the last 50 years. Currently patients have to go oversees to receive the treatment.

It is clear that everyone who is working on the project is excited about the work they are doing and this passion was evident from both Jason and Phil. The building itself it set to be a modern structure with the Christie Charity contributing to the final high tech installations to make the patient experience more positive. This is a project which has required skill and determination to construct a future proof building which will bring this treatment to Manchester and to the country.