New state-of-the-art radiotherapy machine opens at Torbay Hospital

New LINAC radiotherapy machine

Published: 12 April 2018

A new state-of-the-art cancer targeting Linear Accelerator (LINAC) is now open to service users at Torbay Hospital. The opening marks the end of a three-year investment programme designed to update and improve the Oncology facilities at the hospital.

The new LINAC is an Elekta Versa HD radiotherapy machine, which will enable service users to benefit from the latest technological advances in treatment, allowing the Oncologists to target and deliver a specific dose of radiation directly to cancerous cells, with less damage to the healthy cells surrounding them. The new machine is also able to adapt better to new treatments, which will ensure that the people we care for will continue to receive the best cancer care available.

The new machine is part of a £8 million investment programme, which included building a new concrete bunker and a phased replacement of both previous machines, which had reached the end of their lifespan. The new LINAC machine is the second to be replaced, with the first machine opening to the public in September 2016.

Dr Anna Lydon, Lead Consultant Clinical Oncologist at Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our department currently sees over 1000 patients every year for radiotherapy treatment. We are expecting this to continue to rise due to our increasingly ageing population. The investment programme includes the replacement of our machines and refurbishment of our building, which will allow us to deliver the highest quality care and up to date treatment for service users now and well into the future – close to home.”

Lesley Darke, Director of Estates and Commercial Development, said: “The new LINAC machine is the last piece in a project that has taken many years of planning and hard work to deliver. Thanks to our staff and construction partners (*Kier Construction Ltd), we now have an Oncology department that not only provides the latest treatment for cancer, but also in an environment that meets the needs and wellbeing of our service users.”

The investment programme covered the building work and a complete refurbishment of the radiotherapy suite, improving access for service users and ambulances to the department and creating a more pleasant ‘airy’ environment for people to receive treatment. This included the provision of new and improved inpatient and outpatient waiting areas, larger and more accessible toilets and changing areas.

The second LINAC machine was replaced through funding provided by NHS England, as part of a national project to update the radiotherapy machines throughout the country.