New glass walkway will connect Northampton General Hospital site to £1.8m radiotherapy machine

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Patients having radiotherapy at Northampton General Hospital are to have more available therapies and reduced side effects after a £5.5m million investment in new technology.

Building work is underway at NGH as part of a replacement scheme that will see the hospital get three new linear accelerator (LINAC) machines.

The first will be housed in a purpose-designed building in a former car park outside the oncolocy department, which will be connected to the main hospital site by a new glass walkway.

And the machine will be so big that the building is having to be constructed around it.

Consultant oncologist Dr Craig Knighton said: “With our three existing LINAC machines all coming to end of their life at the same time and needing to be replaced, the timing was perfect for us to look at the bigger picture to see how we could improve the overall experience of our radiotherapy patients.

“With the three new machines, Northampton will be one of the most advanced centres for radiotherapy in the country, with benefits including a greater range of therapies, reduced side effects and improved positioning of patients, which means better accuracy in targeting cancer cells.”

A linear accelerator (LINAC) is the device most commonly used for external beam radiation treatments for patients with cancer. The linear accelerator is used to treat all parts of the body by delivering high-energy x-rays to the region of the patient’s tumour.

The first of the three LINAC machines has already been delivered and is due to be operational in early November, with all three scheduled to be in place by the end of 2016.

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