CASE STUDY : UNIVERSITY COLLEGE HOSPITALS, LONDON
Helping to provide cancer fighting PBT for the NHS
Working with main contractor Bouygues UK, we are contributing to London, University College London Hospitals’ mission to improve the lives and outcomes for cancer sufferers, supplying quench pipes for the MRI scanners, hydrogen feeds to the proton beam systems and medical gas systems to the new clinical facility.
Located in the heart of London, University College London Hospitals’ new eleven storey building will be home to one of only two NHS proton beam therapy (PBT) centres in the UK. PBT is an advanced form of radiotherapy used for the treatment of complex and hard-to-treat cancers in children and adults but from 2020 patients at UCLH will benefit from PBT with potentially better outcomes and a lower risk of longer-term side effects.
In the same facility UCLH is also looking to develop Europe’s largest blood disorder treatment centre and a short stay surgical service.
Feeding hydrogen to proton beam machines
Proton beam therapy (PBT) offers cancer patients fewer side effects than conventional X-ray radiotherapy. PBT uses charged particles instead of high energy X-rays. It allows a proton stream made up of ionized hydrogen gas to be targeted directly at a tumour with more accuracy than X-ray, reducing the dose to surrounding tissues and organs. The new therapy centres will make this advancement in cancer available to more NHS patients. We are designing and installing the hydrogen feed to the proton beam machine, which is vital to keeping the machine operating.
Ensuring the safe operation of MRI scanners
Magnets in the MRI scanners at UCLH are cooled with liquid helium. As helium turns to gas and expands rapidly at temperatures above -260° C the system requires a safety valve and quench pipe to ensure that in the unlikely event of the helium turning to gas it will be safely dispersed outside the building. We have installed quench pipes at UCLH for this purpose.
Rising to the logistical challenges of working in central London
We are designing and installing the customary suite of medical gas systems for a hospital system: oxygen, nitrous oxide, medical air, surgical air, medical vacuum, aesthetic gas scavenging system (AGSS) and carbon dioxide. The challenge for this project, for the medical gases, quench pipes and the hydrogen feed, comes from the location of the project. Working in Tottenham Court Road, Puretech had to overcome difficult access and no onsite storage. With a project of this scale experience really counts and we have considerable experience of delivering this type of project in central London and we like a challenge.
We are good at any project that’s challenging. We have a proven track record of rising to challenges and delivering everything that is required so the UCLH project is right up our street.
Andrew Barrett, Managing Director