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The Beatson - West of Scotland Cancer CareNHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde
25/10/2012 Cheque presentation to Beatson Teen Cancer Unit

The Beatson Teenage Cancer Unit has been gifted a fabulous £25,400 cheque from the High School of Glasgow Home and School Association.

Some of the Committee came to the Beatson earlier this week to hand over the cheque which was raised by an extremely successful Charity Ladies Lunch and Fashion Show held at the Grand Central Hotel in March.

Home and School Association chairperson Carole Tong explained:  “Three hundred elegantly dressed ladies attended the lunch and enjoyed a fantastic fashion show which involved pupils and teachers from the school.

“We also held an auction and raffle which altogether raised more than £25,400 for our chosen charity which aims to help teenagers who have been diagnosed with cancer.

“The Home and School Association are very grateful for the support of the Robertson Trust and their contribution to our final donation which we are handing over to the Beaton Teenage Cancer Unit.  The Unit does invaluable work and offers teenagers from our area valuable practical support, guidance and comfort as they come to terms with the difficulty and frightening diagnosis of cancer.

“I’d also like to thank the many businesses and shops locally and otherwise who supported this good cause providing clothes for the fashion show and those who provided prizes for the raffle and auction.”

Teenage and young adult cancer clinical nurse specialist Liz Watt from the Beatson said:  “We are extremely grateful to the Glasgow High School and Home Association for this generous donation which will be put to good use by our patients in the teenage cancer unit.

“I had an opportunity to speak at the lunch about the work we do here and some of the truly inspirational young people we try to help.  It was fantastic day, well done and many thanks to all those who organised it and also to those who came along to the lunch and took part in the auction and fashion show.”



For more information contact the press office, tel:  0141 201 4429 or email:

02/02/2012 Top Clinicians Gather to Mark Strides Forward in Cancer Care

More than 80 top clinicians, including the deputy chief medical officer for Scotland, have gathered today (Friday 2 December 2011) at a special event to celebrate a number of major achievements in the delivery of cancer care to patients across Greater Glasgow and Clyde and the West of Scotland.

The ‘celebrating success’ event will bring together an audience of leading health professionals to hear how new technologies and treatments, screening programmes, new systems to improve safety and the evolving specialty of care for elderly patients with cancer are improving outcomes for thousands of cancer patients across the region.

The event will also mark the significant positive impact that has been achieved though improved joint working and shared systems for cancer care across west of Scotland health boards.

David Dunlop, Clinical Director of the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, said: “This event is the first of its kind in the West of Scotland and it will be a wonderful opportunity to look back and reflect on the significant strides forward that have been achieved in cancer care.

“We will examine the impact of new technologies and treatments and collaborative ways of working and also look forward to the developments the are coming over the horizon.”

One key success which has had a significant impact in streamlining care for patients has been the implementation of the Chemotherapy Electronic Prescribing and Administration System (CEPAS).

CEPAS is an on-line system prescribing system which allows patients from across the west of Scotland to receive chemotherapy in their local hospital, albeit prescribed by their doctor based at the Beatson in Glasgow.

CEPAS was two years in development and is already making great strides forward in the way that cancer prescribing is being streamlined to provide a seamless, safe and patient focused prescribing model for the west of Scotland.

Other key developments that will be celebrated include:

• Technological developments in radiotherapy
• Developments in interventional bronchoscopy
• Cancer prevention
• Impact of the national bowel screening programme


For more information contact the press office at 0141 201 4429 or email:

09/08/2011 New state-of-the-art PET scanner arrives at Beatson

beatson new state of the art PET scannerCancer patients at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre are set to benefit from the purchase of the UK’s most advanced PET scanner.

The new £2 million state-of-the-art Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanner boasts a number of advanced functions that are being implemented in the UK for the first time including a facility which allows for the detection of even smaller tumours.

NHSGGC’s diagnostics directorate worked very hard to ensure the new scanner was at the forefront of latest developments and are very proud of their latest acquisition.

Associate medical director for diagnostics Rachel Green explained:  “This scanner really is at the forefront of technological development.  It is a powerful means of detecting cancers at an early stage of their development so we improve diagnosis and improve outcomes for more patients.

“Many studies have demonstrated that it provides superior results when compared to the more traditional techniques of CT or MRI.”

PET scans are obtained by imaging a tracer amount of a radioactive sugar that is administered to the patient.  Cancerous tissue can be seen on the scans because the cells take up and retain sugar to a greater extent than normal cells.

Additional functions of the new GE690 PET-CT scanner also include a complex motion detection and analysis features that enable production of moving PET-CT images.

Dr Green added:  “This motion detection function can be important for lung tumours, for example, because lungs move when the patient breathes.  This advanced feature of the scanner will also be useful when scanning children who can find it difficult to lie still for certain periods of time.

“This scanner is also an extremely powerful tool for performing research work with a view to increasing our understanding of cancer and other diseases.  We’ll be taking forward a variety of research programmes in collaboration with the University of Glasgow.”


For more information contact the press office at 0141 201 4429 or email:

17/11/2010 Beatson Teenage Unit gets 16,000 fundraising boost from Glenalmond College

Beatson teenage unit gets 16,802 fundraising boost from Glenalmond College

Pupils complete 100 mile walk for Oncology unit

The Teenage Cancer Trust Unit at Scotland’s renowned Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre has been given a £16,000 boost thanks to the pupils from Perthshire independent school Glenalmond College.

A group of 15 boys and girls completed a sponsored 100 Mile Walk from Kinloch Hourn in the Highlands back to Glenalmond, raising the biggest lump sum the school has ever donated to one charity.

Glenalmond pupil Bonnar Euan Fulton, aged 16, whose father is being treated at the centre, said: “We chose to raise money specifically for the teenage unit at the Beatson because it resonated so much with us as young people. All we have to worry about is our exams but the people the unit cares for have much bigger concerns and we wanted to do what we could to help.”

The money raised will go towards making the quality of life for young people with cancer better, for example by providing complementary and other therapies as well as funding group outings. 

Liz Watt, Advanced Clinical Nurse Specialist for the Teenage & Young Adult Cancer Service, said: “We are incredibly impressed by what the Glenalmond pupils have done. Our patients say I am a young person first and a young person with cancer second and that’s how we treat them. This money will be put to very good use.”

The head of Glenalmond College, Warden Gordon Woods, said: “We are very proud of what our walkers have achieved to support the important work of the Beatson Cancer Centre. Charitable work lies at the heart of our ethos at Glenalmond and every week pupils carry out voluntary work in the local community.” 

Twenty three year old Lynsey Neilson, a trainee teacher from Stonehouse, and 16 year old Kevin McAveety from Possil, who have both undergone treatment in the Beatson’s teenage unit, accepted a cheque for £16,802 from the Glenalmond fundraisers.

Over the past few years Glenalmond pupils have raised more than £30,000 for charity. This year the organisations the school’s 400 pupils are fundraising for are: The Neuroblastoma Society, which helps children suffering from a rare and aggressive form of cancer; The Katie McKerracher Trust, which supports children with brain tumours and Water Aid.

30/07/2010 Cancer Patients Benefit from New Technology

Patients being treated for cancer will benefit from a new type of intensity modulated radiotherapy system (IMRT) which has now been successfully installed at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre.

The advanced system, called RapidArc, was installed on two of the existing medical linear accelerators a month ago and is now being used on patients. The system delivers precise image-guided IMRT treatments up to four times faster than conventional IMRT.

It makes treatments a more comfortable experience for patients as the faster delivery reduces the chance and extent of patient motion during treatment enabling more precise dose distribution while helping to protect nearby healthy tissue and vital organs. The side-effects which patients often experience are also significantly diminished and tumour control is potentially increased.

David Dodds, Clinical Lead for Radiotherapy said: “This is a significant advance for one of the busiest cancer centres in the country and provides an opportunity to offer advanced IMRT treatments to more patients.

“In the past, the provision for IMRT has been limited as the technique takes longer to deliver. RapidArc will allow us to treat much more quickly and as a result more patients will be able to benefit from the technology. These treatments are currently only being used for head and neck cancer patients but we expect this to be extended to include other cancers such as prostate and brain in the months ahead.”

Garry Currie, Head of Radiotherapy Physics, added, “RapidArc was installed on two of the department’s linear accelerators only a matter of weeks ago but has been rapidly commissioned to allow the benefits of this technology to be made available as quickly as possible to patients with head and neck cancer in the first instance.

“The Beatson was the first radiotherapy centre in Scotland to introduce IMRT and we have been seeking new methods to allow more patients to receive the benefits of this highly conformal technology.

“Previously, patient treatments would have required up to nine different positions of the treatment machine to be set in sequence. Now, instead of this stop and start approach, with RapidArc, such treatments will take place in continuous rotations of the machine, taking just over two minutes.”

17/02/2010 Dedicated Cancer Specialist for Teenagers and Young Children

The first dedicated cancer specialist for adolescents and young adults with blood cancers has been appointed by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

Respected Consultant Haematologist Dr Nicholas Heaney has taken on the unique role and he has been joined by Marjorie Gillies, Lead Nurse Age Appropriate Care.

Dr Heaney (36)will divide his time between the Teenager Cancer Trust (TCT) Units at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children (RHSC) and the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, he said:

“I am delighted to be taking on this new position that will be both challenging and rewarding.

“Teenagers and young people have told us that they would like a service designed for them, that will give them equitable and age appropriate levels of care across both sites.

“I am pleased that we will be able to directly help and advise the young people during their difficult journey.”

The post will also allow him to lead research into teenage forms of cancer.

The main purpose of this exciting new role is to lead the care for teenagers and young adults with haematological cancer, including the development of transitional care and a late effects service.

In time it is anticipated that Dr Heaney will participate in a national role in service development for teenagers and young adults with haematological cancer in Scotland.

The creation of the post has been made possible thanks to funding under the Scottish Government’s National Delivery Plan to provide appropriate care for children and young people receiving cancer treatment.

Marjorie Gillies said: “I am pleased to have taken up the new role of Lead Nurse Age Appropriate Care within Children’s Services. This is about ensuring that hospital services, the approach of staff and the environment are all geared to meeting the developmental needs of young people (teenagers), which are different to those of children or adults.

“Patients in the Teenage Cancer Unit at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children will be the first to benefit although the role applies across all Children’s Services within Greater Glasgow and Clyde with the aim of developing a new model for the New Children’s Hospital.

“ It also means that we will ensure that children and young people are involved in making decisions about their care, in giving their views proactively eg about facilities and when designing new services. It will be fantastic to have young people involved increasingly in this way as we know they have a lot of helpful and practical ideas to make life in hospital a bit easier for them.”

Dr Brenda Gibson, Lead Clinician for Children’s Cancer Services at RHSC added: “This is the first post of Consultant Haematologist with a specific interest in Teenagers and Young Adults. We are exceptionally pleased to be able to provide a service that meets the needs of this patient group, and to deliver age appropriate support at a time when it is most needed”.

The TCT Unit at the RHSC opened on November 23 last year and its sister unit at the Beatson was unveiled on May 11, in 2007. Both are sponsored by the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Simon Davies, Chief Executive of Teenage Cancer Trust said, “Teenage Cancer Trust is proud to welcome Dr Heaney and Marjorie Gillies to the team in Scotland. We know that young people have a much better chance in their fight against cancer if they are treated by teenage cancer experts, in an environment tailored to their needs. We are dedicated to providing this care and look forward to seeing the positive impact these new roles will have on cancer care for young people in the region.”

For more information contact NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Communications on 0141 201 4429.

01/02/2010 Patients' Benefits Advice Service Expanded

AN advice service that has helped 1200 cancer patients in Glasgow claim financial help is to be expanded to help people with other long term medical conditions.

The Macmillan Benefits Service Glasgow has generated an impressive £4million in financial support for its clients since it was established just over a year ago.

A partnership between Macmillan Cancer Support, Glasgow City Council, The Pension Service and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, its success has now paved the way for a new financial advice service aimed at helping even more people in Glasgow.

Now an innovative service involving additional partner organisations has been developed by Glasgow City Council to assist people with a range of long-term disabling conditions who experience financial hardship.

The new service, called the Long Term Conditions Financial Inclusion Partnership, will be launched today (1 February 2010) at a special event at Glasgow City Chambers.

The expanded partnership will now include the Council, Macmillan Cancer Support, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Chest, Heart & Stroke Scotland, Glasgow Housing Association, The Pension Service and Job Centre Plus.

Elspeth Atkinson, Macmillan Cancer Support’s director for Scotland, said: “Since it was established just over a year ago, the Macmillan Benefits Service Glasgow has made a huge impact.

“By helping people to maximise their income, this service aims to make life more tolerable for people affected by cancer.

“We know that our financial advice services are highly effective and we are convinced that this type of help will also be of great benefit to people with long term medical conditions, their families and carers.”

Diagnosis of a serious illness can have an enormous impact on someone’s income and many people don’t realise they are eligible for financial help from government.

As well as identifying the welfare benefits and hardship grants patients may be entitled to, workers also fill in the complex forms and will appeal if their client’s application is unsuccessful.

The Macmillan Benefits Service Glasgow and the Long Term Conditions Financial Inclusion Partnership also provide help to carers and families.

City Treasurer Bailie Gordon Matheson said: “When someone experiences a serious long-term condition, such as heart disease or a respiratory illness, their life changes fundamentally. Diagnosis can have a major effect on a family’s income at a time when people may struggle to access benefits.

“By introducing very tightly focused support that takes into account the customer’s condition – and the impact it has on every aspect of their life – we can ease that stress and help them to concentrate solely on improving their health.

“Targeted help for vulnerable people is a key priority for the Council and I am certain this project can build on the success of our partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support to help thousands more Glaswegians protect both their health and their wealth.”

If you’re affected by cancer and would like to talk to someone from the Macmillan Benefits Service Glasgow, call 0141 420 8123. Further information is also available by calling 0808 808 00 00 or by visiting .

To find out more about the Long Term Conditions Financial Inclusion Partnership, telephone 0141 287 5901. Further information is available at .


Notes to editors:

Macmillan Cancer Support’s financial advice services have helped around 20,000 people affected by cancer in Scotland since they launched in Lanarkshire just over six years ago. These services have also secured around £60 million in welfare benefits for people affected by cancer in Scotland since they launched.

Although the Macmillan Benefits Service Glasgow is based within the City Council’s city centre revenue and benefits team, workers regularly visit patients in hospital, at home or at community venues throughout the city.

Outreach work takes place at The Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, the Macmillan Cancer Information Service in Easterhouse and at the New Victoria and Stobhill hospitals.

caption - left to right are Alan Cowie, Macmillan''s General Manager for Scotland; Dr Linda deCaestecker, NHSGGC''s Director of Public Health; and Glasgow City Council Treasurer Bailie Gordon Matheson.

Linda Summerhayes
Communications Officer
t: 0131 260 3720

or NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Communications on 0141 201 4429

15/01/2010 Top Building Award for the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre

A NEW award that recognises high standards in the design of cancer care buildings has been awarded to the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre in Glasgow.

The Macmillan Quality Environment Mark is the first of its kind in the UK and the Macmillan chemotherapy day ward at the Beatson is among the first sites to be given the award.

It is the first scheme that specifically assesses how well buildings such as chemotherapy units provide support and care to people affected by cancer.

The award has been developed in collaboration with people living with cancer and organisations including the Department of Health in England

Cathy Hutchison, cancer consultant nurse, and Carol Stevenson, a chemotherapy team leader, travelled to London to receive the award at a prestigious ceremony yesterday (14 January).

They received their award from Professor Mike Richards, national cancer director at the Department of Health, and Macmillan Cancer Support chief executive, Ciaran Devane.

Dr David Dunlop, medical director of the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre said: “We are delighted to have been given this prestigious award. It reflects the hard work and dedication of the team that designed the centre and all the staff and volunteers who work to make the centre a welcoming and supportive environment for patients and their families.”

The Macmillan Quality Environment Mark will help to ensure that people affected by cancer are treated and supported in physical environments of uniformly high quality. The scheme is open to any healthcare providers from the public, voluntary or private sectors that operate cancer care buildings.

Nicola Cook, National Project Manager at Macmillan Cancer Support, explained how the cancer environments are assessed.

She said: “To receive the award environments have to score highly in areas such as use of space, comfort and atmosphere, personal and social interaction and health and well being.

“Consideration is given to such things as the greeting people receive when they come to a centre, the use of natural light and outdoor space and the availability of quiet, private rooms – all areas that were highlighted as really important by people living with cancer who helped develop the award. “

Organisations can apply to be assessed for the Macmillan Quality Environment Mark via

For further information contact: Linda Summerhayes or Michelle Gallacher at Macmillan Cancer Support on 0131 260 3720, and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Communications on 0141 201 4429.

Pictured left to right are: Professor Mike Richards, national cancer director at the Department of Health, Cathy Hutchison, cancer consultant nurse and Macmillan Cancer Support chief executive, Ciaran Devane.

· About Macmillan Cancer Support: Macmillan Cancer Support improves the lives of people affected by cancer, providing practical, medical, emotional and financial support. Working alongside people affected by cancer, Macmillan works to improve cancer care. One in three of us will get cancer. 2 million of us are living with it. If you are affected by cancer Macmillan can help.

· The assessments of cancer buildings will be undertaken by an external partner utilising the agreed MQEM framework.

· The five standards that each environment will be judged on are as follows:
1. Journey will be measured to and from the cancer environment from accessibility on public transport to parking facilities and the greeting received at the door
2. Space and use of space will look at accessibility, reception and waiting areas, shared treatment areas, whether the space in free of clutter, where the quiet rooms and consulting rooms are located.
3. Comfort and atmosphere will look at how the settings are designed, whether there is a homely feel to the environment, are the seating areas comfortable and is there a garden. The natural light and decoration of rooms will also be evaluated.
4. Health and wellbeing will look at food and drink facilities, outdoor space, if the consulting rooms are big enough to bring a partner for support and can the lights be dimmed
5. Personal and social interaction will include whether the staff take time to listen and understand patient’s perceptions and privacy in consultation rooms.

12/10/2009 Glasgow medics hope to save lives by giving tumours frostbite

A new cancer treatment is offering Scottish prostate cancer patients a second chance of a cure using Cryogenic techniques – effectively giving tumours frostbite.

The procedure called Cryotherapy is available to Scots whose prostate cancer has recurred despite previous radiotherapy.

A specialist team based at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s Gartnavel General Hospital and the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre are successfully freezing prostate cancer tumours using cryogenics technology. Once frozen the tumours are then thawed and the result is that cancer cells are shattered and killed – rather like the process of frostbite.

All this is done through the insertion of needles directly into the prostate – known as ice probes (usually 6-8 needles are used) –avoiding the need for patients to undergo major and risky surgery which is often not possible.

Since the new Scottish Cryotherapy Service treated its first patient in October 2008 a total of 13 Scots have undergone the procedure. So far follow up information has shown a satisfactory drop in the prostate cancer marker PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) in all the patients we have tested which suggests a favourable response to Cryotherapy.

Professor of Urology and Surgical Oncology, Hing Leung, said; “Without intervention such as Cryotherapy, these patients will eventually develop cancer spread within five years leading to premature death. Not all patients are suitable for this treatment, but where traditional routes have failed Cryotherapy does offer real hope for patients.

“Basically when a patient comes to us their tumours are inoperable or if operable the procedure would be extremely invasive and very risky. Cryotherapy is minimally invasive and the results for cancer control have been extremely favourable for everyone we have treated.

“Our service is relatively new, so it is difficult to measure improvement in life expectancy among treated patients, however patients with prostate cancer are routinely monitored by a prostate blood test called PSA. Levels of PSA essentially give you a measurement of how much cancer there is in the prostate. So far all treated patients have achieved an undetectable level of PSA. These results are most encouraging and very exciting.”

Patrick Smith from Glasgow (67), a retired Professor of Mathematics at Glasgow University, was the fifth Scot to have Cryotherpay after his prostate cancer returned five years after initial radiotherapy. Since the treatment his PSA tests have shown undetectable levels of the cancer toxin. He said:” I was told that Cryotherapy had certain advantages over surgery, for example being less invasive and requiring a much shorter recuperation. In fact it proved to be pretty straightforward. A day and a half in hospital to have the treatment and a few hours in hospital a few weeks later. Within days of the treatment I was gardening again and getting on with life! No painkillers were need after treatment either.”

Patrick has experienced some side effects following the treatment and is currently being treated for these. He said: “I am coping with the side effects and am getting help for them but when you get cancer you’ve just got to get on with it. I feel very fortunate to have had this treatment and since having Cryotherapy I’m leading a normal life. The doctors here are too modest this really is something that is going to prove to be very useful.”

Professor Leung added: “Medics tried to use Cryotherapy for prostate cancer back in the 70s but results were poor as the technology controlling the temperature drop was imprecise, resulting in under treatment to the cancer and damage to the adjacent organs. Things have moved on greatly and now we are able to produce ‘frostbite’ accurately and effectively in the prostate alone without affecting the surrounding tissue too much and our ongoing research and development aims to make this treatment more effective and at the same time less risky for side effects.”

Cryotherapy is provided by the specialist team in Glasgow for patients Scotland wide.


For further information contcat the press office on 0141 201 4429.

14/07/2009 Scotland's First Director of Nursing

Being first is becoming something of a habit for Cathy Hutchison at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre.

Appointed the first Consultant Nurse for Cancer in Scotland in 2001, she also completed an intensive academic programme at the University of Stirling last year to become Scotland’s first ever Doctor of Nursing.

The academic qualification is the highest level of study in the nursing profession and is designed for nurses who want to remain in clinical practice while making a significant contribution to improving patient care.

Cathy’s doctorate involved six years hard work including two years of assignment work followed by four years on a thesis.

Considering she was also working full-time as a consultant nurse and having the second of her two children at the time, this was quite an achievement.

Looking back, Cathy admits it was a bit of a challenge. She said: “I always intended to do this at some point – although perhaps taking it on just a year into a new job wasn’t the best time. And then I had my second daughter in the midst of it all. But in life, you can’t plan everything.”

As she explains, all the hard work paid off. “Throughout my career, I have been committed to developing research and cancer nursing practice to improve patient care. As nurse specialist and manager of the Clinical Research Unit at the Beatson, I was involved with all aspects of cancer clinical trials and this provided the opportunity to develop clinical trials nursing and nursing research.

“Now in my role as Consultant Nurse for Cancer in Greater Glasgow and Clyde , I am responsible for professional leadership, research and education, expert practice and service development.

“Everything I studied in my doctorate I have subsequently used in my work, both in the development of nurse-led research and in advancing the contribution of nurses to multi-disciplinary clinical research.

“Today, nursing research at the Beatson is thriving. As well as various nurse-led studies with nurses as principle investigators, there is also a large portfolio of multi-professional cancer trials which involve nursing staff.

“Studying for my doctorate was definitely the right decision. Whilst the commitment required was substantial, the results were worth it. It is really helped me do my job, and I really believe I now do it better.”

For more information contact NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Communications on 0141 201 4429.

16/02/2009 New Clinical Director Appointed

Staff at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre were last week introduced to a new Clinical Director following the retiral of Professor Alan Rodger.

Dr David Dunlop has been appointed in the new role of Clinical Director and took up the post last Monday.

Dr Dunlop is a familiar face at the Beatson and holds the Lead Clinician role for chemotherapy services. His new role will see him encompass managing medical services at the Beatson and working with other West of Scotland Boards.

Jonathan Best, Director of Regional Services is delighted David has been appointed as Clinical Director.

He said: “David’s experience within specialist oncology services and the work he has undertaken on chemotherapy services across the West of Scotland will enable him to meet the challenges ahead for cancer services.”

Dr Dunlop is looking forward to the new challenges this role will bring. He added: “The new Cancer Centre is a fantastic flagship for cancer services.

“I will also be working in partnership with regional services, and in consultation with the public, to develop the best ways of treating cancer patients effectively and quickly.”

Dr David Dunlop, having trained in internal medicine and medical oncology in Edinburgh, Calgary and Glasgow, was appointed as a consultant in Glasgow in 1995.

He is Lead Clinician for Chemotherapy Services, a role intimately involved in the re-design of chemotherapy services in the new cancer centre and in the surrounding region.

He is an active clinical researcher in lung cancer and is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation.

The Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre is one of the most advanced cancer centres in Europe and was officially opened by the First Minister, Alex Salmond and the Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon in February 2008.

The new £115million Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre in Glasgow is the lead
centre for delivering non-surgical cancer care across the West of Scotland and provides patients and staff with the most cutting edge equipment, treatments and surroundings to fight cancer.

More than 8,000 new patients will be seen at the Beatson every year which serves a population of 2.6million – more than half the Scottish population.

It boasts the latest state-of-the-art equipment and technology, including eleven modern radiotherapy treatment units, three radioactive source treatment units and MRI scanners. The first PET-CT scanner for the West of Scotland is also co-located beside the unit. This new technology allows doctors to map out cancer tissue more accurately and gives an early insight into how well treatment is progressing even before a tumour changes significantly in size.

06/01/2009 Top Lung Cancer Doctor Urges Youngsters To Say No To Cigarettes

It’s a traditional New Year resolution for many, and now a leading West of Scotland lung cancer consultant is warning young people that if they don’t stop smoking health problems will appear sooner rather than later.

Dr David Dunlop, a Consultant Medical Oncologist at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, says that he is regularly seeing patients in their early thirties with lung cancer and other serious smoking related diseases, and some even younger.

Dr Dunlop said: “The average age for women who develop lung cancer is coming down, and by 2015 this is expected to be 55 years. This is because people are starting to smoke at a younger age and are also being exposed to passive smoking.”

These young patients are also presenting for treatment when their cancer is at an advanced stage because it is still considered unusual for people of their age to develop the disease, and the sinister signs of cancer are being masked by other symptoms of smoking related chest complaints.

The age of patients is also dropping for other cancers, such as mouth cancer and bladder cancer, and also non-malignant conditions linked to smoking like respiratory problems and strokes.

Dr Dunlop went on: “Mothers-to-be who smoke, expose their unborn child to passive smoking and that exposure continues through childhood. That child then is likely to begin smoking from early teens, then will have been smoking for nearly all of their lives.

“Traditionally people didn’t really start smoking until they started work or even joined the army, now people are effectively starting to smoke from the time they are in the womb.”

Young smokers are already being targeted by national prevention campaigns and new measures being considered for this year include further restrictions around displaying cigarettes and tobacco products at points of sale, and banning the sale of cigarettes in packs of 10 and from vending machines.

Smoking in public places was banned in March 2006, and there is already a positive impact on health:

“Since the ban there has already been a significant reduction in sudden deaths, and admissions to coronary care units and accident and emergency departments, “ said Dr Dunlop.

“As soon as someone stops smoking the risk of cancer begins to fall back to normal.”

According to the latest figures from NHS Health Scotland’s “Young Adult Smokers in Scotland” report published last month, 166,000 or 28 per cent of 16-24 year olds smoked regularly in 2006.

Smoking rates for this group fell between 1999 and 2004 from 31 per cent to 25 per cent but then rose to 30 per cent in 2007.

The Scottish Government has set a target to reduce this rate to 22.9per cent by 2012.

For more information about how to quit smoking either telephone the free helpline on 0800 84 84 84 or visit the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde website at

For more information contact Susan Carden, Communications Officer, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Communications on 0141 201 4429/07971 267759.

19/11/2008 Digital Dictation Project

Until recently staff were using outdated analogue technology and old fashioned tapes for audio typing. Poor audio quality and having to fast forward and rewind tapes to find pieces of urgent dictation also took its toll on efficiency.

Now the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre has invested in the latest digital dictation equipment - and is already reaping the benefits for its patients.

In Partnership with Voice Technologies the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre is the first hospital to pilot Digital Dictation and this has proved to be very successful.

The use of digital technology will help to speed up the delivery of medical test results to GP''s and their patients, and reduce the pressures on clinical staff to deliver waiting times.

Heather Wylie, managing director of Voice Technologies, said: "With these solutions, Scotlands hospitals can save a significant amount of time. For example one of our customers took six days to produce a particular type of report. Now it’s down to a couple of hours.

Eleanor McColl, IT Client Manager at the Beatson, said: "Using Voice Technologies digital dictation solution has reduced the time taken by consultants and registrars correcting and chasing up urgent work, and secretaries can now find priority work more quickly. With 91 authors and 48 secretaries using the new system, the turnaround time from dictation to typing has dramatically improved - by at least 50 percent - and urgent letters are typed within one day." 

16/10/2008 Beatson Medical Director to Retire

Professor Alan Rodger, Medical Director of the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre has announced his retiral.
After five and a half years driving forward the transformation of medical oncology services for West of Scotland, including the creation of the new Beatson, Professor Rodger will retire in January 2009.
The Professor leaves behind him a rich legacy of which he is rightly proud.
Professor Rodger joined the Beatson in 2003 at the very outset of a major programme of investment and cancer service redesign. £100 million was to be spent creating the new Beatson and Professor Rodger with his senior team were to lead this exciting work.
The Professor says that the sheer scale of what was planned and the opportunity to be part of a new era of cancer care was a real attraction when deciding whether or not to leave his post at the William Buckland Radiotherapy Centre in Victoria, Australia. He said: “The vision and commitment of senior NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) colleagues was what convinced me to come here. I knew absolutely that they had every intention of creating something very unique and I wanted to part of that. What was also exciting and attractive to me was the chance to build a regional service and not just a hospital based one. The transformation of the Beatson wasn’t just about creating a new unit on one hospital site for the sole use of city residents – it was about developing further a service for the whole of the West of Scotland and regional care was always a principle which I believed in from early in my career.”
Now just over five years on and cancer services across the region are barely recognisable. The new Beatson is the lead centre for delivering non-surgical cancer care across the West of Scotland and treats more than 8,000 new patients every year.
Andrew Roberston, NHSGGC’s Chairman has paid special tribute to the massive contribution made by Professor Rodger: “The “Beatson” has a rich history in the Scottish treatment and development of cancer care services dating back centuries. As a Health Board we have always been very committed to ensuring the best possible cancer services for our patients but I think it is fair to say that the New Beatson has exceeded all expectations. The opening of its doors has heralded a new dawn in cancer provision and much of this is down to Alan and his team. Alan’s vision, commitment and enthusiasm have been an inspiration to his team and the results have seen cancer patients in the West of Scotland benefit from the very best services available anywhere in the world today.”
Cancer care is now delivered from brand new modern, purpose-built facilities with a package of state-of-the-art equipment unrivalled anywhere in Europe, a far cry from the less than ideal accommodation at the old Beatson.
Clearly the move into the new Beatson has been a highlight of Professor Rodger’s time in Glasgow. He said: “The move into our new home was so momentous – the culmination of so much planning and hard work by the team. The response from staff, patients and visitors has been quite astonishing. You can clearly see how much people appreciate the surroundings and care about what we are trying to do. But it isn’t just about the facilities, it’s also the standard of our treatments and equipment. I am proud that we have the best of everything here.
“It’s funny because the rep from the company who was the successful bidder for the purchasing of some our equipment actually turned to me one day and said: “Alan, do you realise that you now have everything in our catalogue!” And that just about sums it up really. We have the very best equipment and technology that is available on the market today.”
Another highlight for Alan is that the Beatson is now a very attractive place to work and attracts professionals from around the globe. “It is no secret that in the late 90s and into 2000/1 there was a chronic shortage of staff at the Beatson. It was not an attractive place to work. Through our heightened credibility and profile this has been completely turned around. In fact, we have more applicants for some posts than we have jobs for and the Beatson is now staffed by the highest number of specialist staff it has ever had. That, I think, is testament to how far we have come.”
One of the other major achievements for the Beatson has been the creation of a major network of outreach clinics right across the region. Specialist staff from the Beatson offer clinics at ten major hospitals outside Glasgow in the West of Scotland and this, according to the Professor, is exactly as it should be. He said: “We have radically changed the way services are delivered regionally and building on this is critical to the way forward in cancer care of the future.”
Before full retirement the Professor will act as a special advisor to NHS Grampian over the coming months as they deliver their own major programme of investment and redesign in cancer services.
NHSGGC are currently looking for a replacement to whom the Professor will pass the baton of leadership of the Beatson at the end of January 2009.
The Professor’s words to the successful applicant are these: “My successor will be working with a fantastic team, both at the Beatson and across the West of Scotland. It has been my absolute privilege to work them and I am sure the next Medical Director will quickly understand exactly what I mean. I took this job because it was an exciting challenge and it remains exactly that. It also offers excellent rewards, most particularly in working with an extremely talented and dedicated multi-professional team in delivering the highest standards of care, as equitably as possible, to a significant proportion of the Scottish population. The senior management is still very focused and supportive of trying to build on the achievements made thus far. The new post holder must always remember however that it is not just a Glasgow job but a West of Scotland job that needs to be done. I also very much hope that as the largest and most well- equipped cancer centre in the country the Beatson continues to take the national lead in the development and delivery of services.”

01/02/2008 New Era in Cancer Care is Celebrated

One of the most advanced cancer centres in Europe was today, February 1st, officially opened by First Minister, Alex Salmond and Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon.

At a special ceremony at the new £115million Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre in Glasgow, Scotland’s First and Deputy First Ministers met with staff and patients before unveiling a commemorative plaque and officially declaring the centre open.

Speaking at the event, at which more than 80 staff, patients, charitable partners and supporters were present, the First Minister said: “”For many years, the “Beatson” has played a vital role in improving the health and lives of the people of Scotland. The Health Secretary has regularly updated Cabinet on the pioneering work underway and her visits to the new facilities. I have never been in any doubt that the new centre is a fitting testament to the work started by Dr George Beatson.

“However, after meeting the staff and patients and seeing these state of the art medical facilities firsthand -  today’s visit has still managed to exceed expectations.

“Scotland’s fight against cancer is led by a dedicated NHS workforce, cutting edge technology and ground-breaking clinical research. The Beatson’s greatest strength is its ability to bring all these things together, under one roof, to ensure people get the outstanding healthcare and support they need – and when they most need it.

”Its impressive and inspiring environment has clearly been developed around the need to provide the best possible treatment for the 9000 patients who will come through its door each year.

“There have been many partners involved in making this centre a reality. I congratulate them all and thank them for developing this centre and helping us to provide Scotland the best possible chance of winning the fight against cancer.”

Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing Nicola Sturgeon said:

“It is also a great pleasure for me to mark the official opening of this magnificent centre.

“I have now been here on a number of occasions, most recently to open the Friends of the Beatson centre and every time, I have been enormously impressed by the work done here
and the commitment and enthusiasm of all the staff.  I have absolutely no doubt that we should all be very proud of what has been achieved here over the last few years.

“This new facility, with its interior design and decoration shaped by patients, is an example of what can be done by working in partnership - a partnership involving NHS staff, charities and, of course, the contractors who built and finished the building itself supported by funding from the public and voluntary sectors.

“All that we see here today is also a result of the seeking out and implementing innovative ways of delivering services that not only meet the needs of patients but also provide them in ways that better meet the expectations of patients, carers and their families.”

When the Beatson first began treating patients last year it heralded a new era in cancer care in Scotland.

It is the lead centre for delivering non-surgical cancer care across the West of Scotland and provides patients and staff with the most cutting edge equipment, treatments and surroundings to fight cancer.

More than 8,000 new patients will be seen at the Beatson every year which serves a population of 2.6million – more than half the Scottish population.

It boasts the latest state-of-the-art equipment and technology, including eleven modern radiotherapy treatment units, three radioactive source treatment units and MRI scanners.  The first PET-CT scanner for the West of Scotland is also co-located beside the unit. This new technology allows doctors to map out cancer tissue more accurately and gives an early insight into how well treatment is progressing even before a tumour changes significantly in size. 

The opening ceremony was hosted by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s Chairman, Andrew Robertson.  He said: “Completing the world-class package of cancer care, the Beatson is staffed by some of the most skilled and dedicated healthcare professionals in the country. I am delighted that the new centre offers staff such a wonderful environment in which to deliver specialist and vitally important cancer services. Cancer patients from throughout the West of Scotland will undoubtedly benefit from all that this outstanding facility has to offer. Of course, none of this would have been possible without the support of the Scottish Government and our charitable partners to whom we are all very grateful.”

Professor Alan Rodger, Medical Director for the Beatson, added: “The official opening of the Beatson marks a major milestone in the advancement of specialist cancer services in Scotland.  The Beatson has a rich history in the provision of high quality cancer services dating back to 1886. As the Beatson enters a new phase in its history, we have commissioned a special commemorative booklet charting back to its beginnings.  The booklet has been presented to all the guests here today and given as a token to every member of Beatson staff.”

Key to the design of the Beatson is the creation of a calm, relaxing and therapeutic environment for patients to improve their well-being and enhance their recuperation.

The new centre is also home to:
· a bone marrow transplant ward which provides a national service for certain transplants
· a new clinical trials and research unit which runs up to 100 programmes at any one time
· the North Glasgow haemato-oncology ward
· a pharmacy, which has nine isolators for the production of chemotherapy.  The pharmacy department has also been set up to deliver gene therapy in the future.
What is more the Beatson is now staffed by the highest number of specialist staff Glasgow has ever had.  For a number of years a huge amount of work has been going on behind the scenes to attract specialist staff from all over the world. Our enormous national and international efforts have now paid off as whole time equivalent vacancy rates at the Beatson are now at 2.4% from a position of 27.6% back in 2002.
Professor Alan Rodger said: “The Beatson has also benefited from many facilities and extra features made possible by charitable organisations and their contribution cannot be underestimated. Our partners have donated in excess of £3million to allow for many exciting features and extras, from an in-house cinema to an art-coordinator to oversee the design of our new centre. I see this great generosity as evidence of the continuing and very considerable support we have from the community and people we serve.”

These generous donations have been made by Macmillan Cancer Relief, the Teenage Cancer Trust, the Friends of the Beatson and Trades House of Glasgow.

The Friends of the Beatson have funded a new £800,000 complementary therapy centre, providing a relaxing therapeutic environment with complementary non-medical services. The centre includes chill out spaces; art music rooms; aromatherapy and massage rooms; a 12-seater cinema; a sound and light room and a hairdresser and beautician room.

Ian Dickson, chairman of Friends of the Beatson said: “The Beatson is a centre of excellence and its new home, the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre is one of the finest in Europe.

“The new Friends of the Beatson Centre, which was launched in September 2007, is a major milestone for Friends of the Beatson. It is our most significant project to-date by a long way.
“We are delighted to be part of the new Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre and to play our part in it, by promoting the wellbeing of cancer patients and making their lives more tolerable when in hospital.”

The Teenage Cancer Trust have funded a state-of-the-art new Teen Cancer unit. There is internet access, Plasma TV with satellite access, DVD players, Playstations and state-of-the-art sound systems. The new unit has a chill out zone or “rumpus room” packed with the latest board games and a fully fitted kitchen so the teenagers can make their own snacks or hot drinks.  This new unit represents a far cry from the former teenage cancer facilities in the old Beatson.

Richard Shaw, Director of Fundraising at Teenage Cancer Trust said, "We are delighted to have opened Scotland''''s first Teenage Cancer Trust unit at the New Beatson. The facility will ensure that Scottish teenagers with cancer are getting the best possible treatment in an environment that has been created especially for them. We expect the state-of-the-art facility to provide better outcomes for the young patients and their families”.

Macmillan Cancer Relief paid for the project’s Art Coordinator who was responsible for the décor of the new centre. The charity has also funded the new day chemo unit which boasts special mood lighting to help patients relax while undergoing treatment.

Director of Macmillan Cancer Support, Elspeth Atkinson, said: "Macmillan is delighted to have been involved in the development of the Beatson. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters we have been able to spend £1m to make the centre more pleasant. Our architectural and arts advisors oversaw environmental improvement work throughout the Beatson, particularly in the chemotherapy unit, where we installed an innovative light therapy unit.  We were also involved in improvements to the radiotherapy, outpatient, reception and courtyard areas, using lights and colours as well as murals of Scottish flowers and fauna.  We are very pleased this work has helped make the Beatson a more pleasant place to be."

The opening of the Beatson has also played a major part in the reorganisation of cancer services across the West of Scotland to deliver more specialist cancer care locally.  For instance, chemotherapy is now given locally under the supervision of the Beatson experts in nine hospitals outwith Glasgow from Oban to Ayr and as far east as Falkirk.