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Patients in the Kent Oncology Centre at Maidstone Hospital are receiving some of the fastest treatment in the country but now also with increased state-of-the-art equipment after Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust (MTW) invested in a second Halcyon machine to deliver radiotherapy treatment.

Only a small number of cancer treatment centres in England are using the new technology which halves treatment times and provides a much more comfortable experience for patients, with the machine treating the first patients last month following the arrival of the first Halcyon back in August.

The £2 million Halcyon accelerators target larger tumours more effectively and provide more accurate images in a less enclosed and quieter environment, helping to reduce the stress a patient may feel.

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust’s, Chief of Cancer Services, Philippa Moth, said: “We’re always looking at opportunities to develop our care and improve the experience our patients receive and this new technology means our patients have access to faster, more accurate treatment and therefore spend less time in hospital and more time with their loved ones.

“The investment of the second Halcyon enhances our capacity even further 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.”

As well as being much easier for specialist staff to use, the Halcyon also offers increased efficiency such as dramatically lower running costs helping to save energy and being completely paperless.

The oncology centre, which is part of Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust (MTW), continued all cancer treatments throughout the pandemic. MTW is also one of only a handful of trusts to have met national cancer standards for almost three years. Staff can now increase the number of cancer patients they can treat due to the delivery of a second Halcyon.

The arrival of the second machine is one of a number of investments which improve the care of cancer patients at MTW. The Trust has recruited more specialist oncology clinicians, developed and trained nursing staff to enable them to deliver chemotherapy treatment and in May opened a new Oncology Outpatients suite.