Linac Unit redevelopment at the Royal Marsden Hospital, Chelsea
At the end of May, ME Construction began work on a project to redevelop the medical linear accelerator (linac) unit at the Royal Marsden Hospital, in Chelsea. The project – which is due to be completed by mid-August at a cost of over £700,000 – involves refitting the room housing the linac unit; adding steel plated shielding; fitting a new control room, patient area and changing areas, and installing various fixtures and fittings.
Paul Murray, ME Construction’s project manager on-site, explained: “The original linac machine has been removed to allow us to upgrade the area and make all the structural alterations that are needed. This includes changing an existing concrete wall and making two new sections of wall – to create a maze. This arrangement is intended to maximise patient and staff safety.
“Once all the alterations have been carried out, the Royal Marsden Hospital NHS Foundation Trust will fit a brand new linac machine,” he added.
Medical linear accelerators (linacs) are used in linear accelerator external-beam radiation therapy to treat cancer. Linacs emit a well-defined beam of uniformly intense x-ray photon radiation of different energies, depending on the accelerator. Some linacs also produce electron beams.
Low-energy linacs are used primarily to treat bone cancer and tumors of the head, neck, and breast. High-energy linacs are used to treat deep-seated neoplasms and tumors of the pelvis and thorax.
Also involved in this current project – which is the second one that ME Construction has carried out for the Royal Marsden Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, after a gap of some five years - are the architects, Ansell & Bailey, and the quantity surveyors, the WT Partnership. Dennis Barnard, ME Construction’s operations director, commented: “We’re delighted to be carrying out a further project for the Royal Marsden – thanks to the efforts of our business development director, Paul Driver.”