£8.7m cancer care building takes shape at Southend Hospital

  • 21st February 2024

An artist’s impression of the new building (AD Architects)

Preparations have begun for the new £8.7m Radiotherapy Unit extension and equipment at Southend Hospital, with specialist blocks starting to be craned into place.

The 2m-wide concrete blocks, which will take four weeks to position, are designed to stop any radiation penetrating the walls, shielding anyone outside from radiation waves and particles, and are only manufactured by two companies in the world.

Nicky Whilde, head of radiotherapy physics at the hospital, said: “The £5m extension is expected to be completed this summer and open to patients in the autumn.

“It will be home to a new £3.7m linear accelerator (LINAC) machine, which uses beams of high energy X-rays or electrons to destroy cancer cells while reducing damage to surrounding organs and healthy tissue, meaning patients are less likely to have long-term side effects because of their treatment.”

The LINAC, which can be used for the majority of cancers, will treat patients from across mid and south Essex and its new building allows the unit to have its own entrance and reception area, so those having radiotherapy will no longer need to walk through the hospital to get to their appointment.

This minimises the contact they have with other patients and visitors and allows for the waiting room to be made larger and two dedicated side rooms created where patients can discuss their treatment with their medical team.

The trust has funded the programme as part of the planned capital and equipment replacement scheme for radiotherapy and it will join the other three LINACs already in use at the hospital.

The building was designed by AD Architects.

Keep Updated

Sign up to our weekly property newsletter to receive the latest news.