Cancer treatment at the Norwich and Norfolk University Hospital to receive �4.5m boost
Cancer treatment at Norwich's main hospital is set to receive a multi-million pound boost after expansion plans were given the green light.
The new �4.5 million facility, which will be located next to Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital's Mulbarton ward, will increase the radiotherapy capacity at the hospital by a third over the next five years.
It will be home to two more radiotherapy machines, known as linear accelerators (linacs), taking the total number at the N&N to six.
The plans also include a new orthovoltage treatment room with equipment which can treat cancers which sit near the surface of the body, such as some skin cancers.
There will be a waiting area, office space and two consulting rooms. And to help cancer patients avoid a hospital admission, there will be space for a new acute oncology suite close to the ward area, providing rapid assessment and treatment for those who are experiencing complications with their cancer or its treatment.
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Dr Tom Roques, consultant oncologist, said: 'Radiotherapy is a very effective treatment for curing many patients of their cancer and can also be used to manage symptoms even if the cancer is incurable.
'With life expectancy rising, we anticipate more people will need treatment for cancer in the future and this expansion is critical to help meet that need.
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'We have a staged plan for installing the equipment with the first linear accelerator to be installed once the building work is complete and a second one due to be installed in 2015.'
The hospital is making the �4.5m investment over the next four years, covering the building works and equipment.
At the moment, about 200 patients receive radiotherapy each month at the N&N. Patients requiring radiotherapy are also referred to the N&N from the county's other hospitals such as the James Paget University Hospital and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital at King's Lynn.
Construction work will start next month with the first patients being treated in the new facilities by the end of summer 2013.
Are you helping to improve services in Norwich? Call reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.