Completed in May 2021, the new £35m Northern Centre for Cancer Care at Cumberland Infirmary will ensure the delivery of “high quality, clinically safe and sustainable” cancer services for the people of North Cumbria. Following an intensive 18-month programme of design development and preparation, the first bricks were laid at the start of January 2020. Subsequently, rapid progress was made, even in the face of the challenges presented by Covid-19. The external walls formed out of 88,000 bricks, while 90,000 specially-made interlocking blocks were used to construct the walls and ceilings of the linear accelerator (LINAC) bunkers, and 1,323 pieces of steel have been erected to frame the main building. Now finalised, the state-of-the-art centre brings all of North Cumbria’s oncology services under the same roof for the first time, meaning patients no longer have to receive chemotherapy and radiotherapy in different parts of the hospital.
Set to make a “real impact” for the North Cumbria community, the construction of the new cancer centre has enabled the Trusts to collectively provide “one of the biggest combined” cancer treatment services in England. The £35m healthcare facility will house a chemotherapy day unit with 15 treatment chairs and three single bedrooms, two linear accelerator radiotherapy machines and a CT scanner suite. Improvements to outpatient areas, and the creation of consultation and examination rooms, as well as a café area, were also included in the project’s scope. The services that will be delivered in the new facility include radiotherapy, imaging and pre-treatment preparation, day case chemotherapy, clinics and supportive therapies.
At its peak, 90 workers a day were on-site. Demonstrating the scale of the development, a 120ft self-erecting tower crane travelled from Leicester to lift and put into place 86 individual panes of glass on the atrium roof. Significantly, patient welfare and comfort were a top priority throughout the design phase. We were engaged from the tender stage, with our Digital Construction Team advising on processes to help the build meet BIM Level 2 standards
“The building of this cancer centre will have a real impact on patients in North Cumbria. It also demonstrates our shared vision and long-term commitment to delivering high quality, clinically safe and sustainable cancer services to the people of North Cumbria.”
“It’s great to see this development literally coming to life before our eyes on the Infirmary site. It’s a fantastic example of team effort from the construction and NHS teams who have refused to allow this pandemic to stop progress and help ensure that we are still looking forwards to providing patient care in the new centre in 2021.”