Varian supports new UK radiography training centre
15 September 2006
London, UK. A key new radiography training centre,
The Saad Centre for Radiography Clinical Skills Education, opened in London
on 12 September. The new facility, the first in the south of England, has
been made possible thanks to investment by London’s City University, the
Saad Group from Saudi Arabia and Varian Medical Systems.
The new state-of-the-art complex will raise standards of training in
radiography and ensure graduates receive the most advanced practical
experience in the UK.
Varian has donated ten Eclipse treatment planning
systems (TPS). The Eclipse enables oncologists to plan advanced treatments
using the latest radiotherapy techniques such as image-guided radiotherapy
(IGRT) and intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT).
Varian’s European director of public/private partnerships, says, “This new
centre will be a major resource in training radiotherapy radiographers of
the future and we are proud to support such a vital and worthwhile project.
More trained radiographers mean more staff to run the additional treatment
machines acquired in the UK in recent years, and this will greatly benefit
the country’s cancer patients in the future.”
Varian also supports
England’s only other radiography skills lab, based at Sheffield Hallam
University and covering the north of the country. “Facilities such as those
at Sheffield and now in London are vital in enabling new advances in
radiotherapy to be put into practice,” adds Sandhu. “A shortage of qualified
radiographers has sometimes prevented such techniques from being implemented
as swiftly as necessary in the past, as existing clinical staff battle to
control waiting lists. We want that to change, as every patient deserves the
opportunity to be treated with the most effective technology that gives them
the best chance of a cure.”
Jennifer Edie, Head of Radiography at The City
University, London says: “The range and sophistication of these facilities
mean that our radiography courses are more practical than ever, fully
equipping all graduates for the world of work and taking the strain off busy
The centre’s development began after a group of the
University’s radiographers debated the future needs of the University’s
training for the profession. The conclusion was a two-phase project: the
first phase saw the construction of the radiography clinical skills centre
and the inclusion of new clinical equipment and facilities. The second phase
is focused on increasing the centre’s research to place it at the forefront
of the radiography profession.
The Saad Centre plans to dramatically
increase its radiography research and offer more training and development
opportunities to students and practicing radiographers across the UK and
worldwide. The centre also benefits from having close links with the
department of radiography’s radiation laboratory, which is dedicated to
researching the interactions between radiation and different body tissues.
The new facility comes on the back of significant recent government
investment in radiotherapy equipment. Over the last three years, the UK
government’s Purchasing and Supply Agency (PASA) has announced major
radiotherapy investments in a series of waves. More than 100 new linear
accelerators have been acquired as part of the Cancer Plan and Varian has
been selected to provide two-thirds of all machines ordered.