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Need to replace ‘essential’ St Luke’s cancer equipment

By David Lynch - 17th Mar 2024

cancer equipment

The need to replace “essential equipment” in the St Luke’s Radiation Oncology Network was raised at a recent HSE internal meeting.

According to minutes of the HSE planning and performance committee meeting in November, members discussed “issues surrounding replacement of essential equipment… which is resulting in reduced capacity”.

The network operates from three locations – St Luke’s Hospital, Rathgar, Dublin, and St Luke’s Radiation Oncology Units in St James’s and Beaumont Hospitals in Dublin.

A HSE spokesperson told the Medical Independent (MI) the issue relates to various types of equipment including linear accelerators, CT simulators, MRIs, and a “range of treatment planning software”. 

The spokesperson said HSE Capital and Estates is not aware that any machines are out of use or that there is any significant increased maintenance resulting in reduced capacity.

“Rather, the machines are at the end of their lifecycle and new equipment will obviously provide increased functionality as they will be more up-to-date.”

The spokesperson said a replacement project has been established and funding is in place.

“The scope of the project requires some redesign and construction works to the existing facilities and in that context a design team have been appointed who are currently developing the scope of work to identify the design requirements and produce the construction brief,” the spokesperson told MI

“In parallel the clinical team in St Luke’s are developing the equipment specification requirements to be procured.”

It is anticipated that the replacement programme will commence in the first quarter of next year.

“The replacement programme is complex, due to the requirement to replace large pieces of equipment in a live clinical environment while continuing to maintain current levels of capacity and deliver services to patients.” See news feature, p4-5.

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