New radiotherapy machine taking cancer care to the next level in Kent

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust (MTW) are taking their cancer care to the next level with a new state-of-the-art radiotherapy machine.

Patients stationed at the Kent Oncology Centre are benefitting from some the fastest, most efficient, and most comfortable treatment in the country, thanks to the new Halcyon accelerator at Maidstone Hospital.

The £2m machine not only targets tumours more effectively, it also delivers more accurate images in a less claustrophobic and more peaceful environment, giving patients less stressful procedures.

The technology is only available at a handful of cancer centres in England, with the machine managing to halve treatment times for patients as well as “dramatically” cutting down operational costs by being easier to use and completely paperless.

Philippa Moth, the Chief of Cancer Services at MTW, said: “Improving the patient experience is always at the forefront of every decision we make and the investment in this new technology will mean our patients have access to faster, more accurate treatment and therefore spend less time in hospital and more time with their loved ones.

“The Halcyon is part of our ongoing commitment to ensure our patients have access to the best possible care and thanks to the hard work of our fantastic teams will help us build on the progress we have made in the last few years in becoming one of the best performing cancer centres in the country.”

Kent Oncology Centre, which forms part of MTW, continued operating throughout the worst of the pandemic, leading MTW to be one of the only Trusts in the country to have met national cancer standards for the last three years.

A second Halcyon machine is scheduled to be delivered later this year to the Trust, with staff excited to increase their output and capacity for cancer care, further cementing their position as one of the leading cancer centres in the country.

Paul, 56, a bladder cancer patient from Crowborough, was the first person to test out the new machine at the end of last month. He said: “It’s a much quieter machine than what I’ve been treated with before, so it was a much more pleasant experience and I was in and out so quickly – it was a terrific service.

“If I ever win the lottery, I’ll be buying them another one!”

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