The Christie NHS Foundation Trust – the largest single-site cancer treatment centre in Europe – has opened its new Palatine Treatment Centre. The £12m facility for teenage and young adult cancer patients, and haematology and transplant patients, was planned, designed and constructed by PSCP Interserve Construction using ProCure21+. The centre has “transformed” treatment and care for these patients, according to director of the haematology and transplant unit, Dr Mike Dennis: “We now have a first-class environment that reflects our ambition to deliver more transplants and enable our patients to feel even more comfortable and cared-for.”

Because around 30% of young cancer patients at The Christie have blood-related cancers such as leukaemia and lymphoma, the centre relocates the hospital’s existing young oncology unit and haematology/transplant unit into a single purpose-built centre of 3,352m2 floor area. The unit has outpatient facilities on its ground floor, 31 specialist inpatient rooms on the first floor, and improvements to existing facilities on the second floor, including a gym, music room and relaxation area, rehabilitation, support services and relatives’ accommodation.

PSCP Interserve faced several challenges during the planning and construction phase, including the requirement to work above a live clinical unit while maintaining access to lower-floor offices; issues were resolved with weekly meetings that focused on a traffic-light indicator system to avoid disruption to patients. To add to these challenges, the planning stage discovered that a section of the existing lower-storey building was incapable of sustaining the load of the new building. Interserve engineers designed a special 9.5m cantilever spanning the top of the existing building, using the largest stock steel beam available with a depth of 1m.

The site was awarded a Silver Considerate Constructors’ accolade, and achieved a BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rating in line with its status as a part-refurbishment project.

The Christie’s project manager Derek Cox praised the role played by ProCure21+ in the delivery of the new centre. “We’ve been using ProCure21 and ProCure21+ over a number of years, and it has helped us to deliver some absolutely top-class projects. We appreciate the excellent cost control and accuracy of projected outcomes that the framework enables, and the detailed control of any arising issues using the Early Warnings mechanism.”

Part of the new facility is a dedicated gym for the exclusive use of teenage and young adult patients. The gym was opened by footballers from The Christie’s official charity partner Manchester United. Said Wayne Rooney: “I know the former teenage cancer unit at The Christie provided fantastic care, but this new unit is absolutely superb.”

Interserve continues to maintain a presence onsite at The Christie, having been awarded a contract to design and construct a state-of-the-art Proton Beam Therapy specialist radiotherapy unit for cancer patients, improving patient outcomes, reducing unwanted side-effects from treatment and eliminating the need for patients to travel abroad to receive treatment. Work is scheduled to start on-site in 2016, completing in 2018, and again will be carried out under the ProCure21+ framework using full Level 2 BIM for maximum efficiency and accuracy in the planning, design and construction phases.

December 2014