The PBT centres, which are being developed at UCLH and The Christie in Manchester, are being funded by a £250 million government investment.
Sir Robert Naylor, chief executive of UCLH, said: “I am absolutely delighted with today’s announcement of the preferred providers for the UCLH proton beam therapy centre. We are now one step closer to being able to provide UK-based care to the children and teenagers who need this highly specialised treatment. At the moment, people who require proton beam therapy have to travel abroad.”
Having care in the UK will make a real difference for patients, who currently have to travel to Europe or the USA for treatment.
Public Health Minister Jane Ellison said: “The NHS is rising to the challenge on cancer – dealing with 700,000 more admissions this parliament compared to the last, while at the same time survival rates are rising to record levels. We want NHS patients to have the very best care and treatment and today’s announcement brings us a crucial step closer to offering cancer patients proton beam therapy in the UK.”
The UCLH PBT centre will be part of a facility based on Grafton Way and Huntley Street. Made up of the PBT centre below ground and five floors above ground, this state-of-the-art facility will offer even more than protons. The plan is to use the floors above ground to develop Europe’s largest haematological inpatient medical facility and a short stay surgical unit.
While the UCLH and Christie’s facilities are being built, proton beam therapy will continue to be provided by overseas clinics for clinically appropriate NHS patients.
UCLH’s preferred building contractor is Bouyges UK and the preferred equipment supplier for both the Christie and UCLH is Varian. Both were selected following a rigorous public procurement process.
One family explains how having proton beam therapy available in the UK will help - read their story here
Watch this short film which sets out how PBT can benefit patients and includes footage of what the new sites may look like.