The Christie is partner in new PET-CT scanning services network across England.

The Christie NHS Foundation Trust is a partner in a new network which will increase cancer patients' access to vital diagnostic tests.

The new partnership, chosen by NHS England following a competitive tender, will provide PET-CT scanning services to 60% of the population across 30 locations in England.

Led by Alliance Medical Limited, a leading independent provider of medical imaging services, and The Christie, the collaborative network will also include local NHS and charitable partners as well as a number of leading academic institutions.

The new service, which begins 1st April 2015, will see an£87m investment over 10 years to install new scanners and improve the current infrastructure. There will be a huge increase in the number of fixed site PET-CT units that will increase patient access and the quality of services.

The Christie will create a new Academy of Advanced Imaging to provide first class training and education for radiologists, scientists, technologists and radiographers through The Christie School of Oncology. It will coordinate research and support an increase in clinical research trials.

The Christie's established record of clinical leadership, education and research, along with its collaborative service development (locally, nationally andinternationally) andleadership in clinical trials and cancer research with Manchester Cancer Research Centre, was central to the success of the partnership bid with Alliance Medical Limited.

Dr Prakash Manoharan, Consultant Radiologist and Nuclear Medicine Physician (clinical lead for PET-CT at The Christie), said:"Here at the Christie we are very clear in our ambition to deliver the highest quality care and treatment with real patient benefits and ultimately to increase cancer survival rates. Early clinical diagnosis is a critical part of delivering on that objective, and we see the strengths of our oncological leadership and Alliance Medical's diagnostic excellence building a world leading service."

Guy Blomfield, Group Chief Executive at Alliance Medical Group, said: "It is a privilege to be part of a consortium of the highest quality healthcare and academic institutions and to be selected to provide PET-CT imaging services in England. We strongly believe that by providing better access to PET-CT and improving the current pathway, we can support NHS England's objective of improving cancer survivorship. While it is important to provide a service that is fit for purpose now, we have also made a commitment to NHS England to work with, among others, the Clinical Reference Group to evaluate emerging technologies and radioactive tracers such that evidence-based decisions on service developments can be made."

Key benefits to patients of the new service include:

  • Increased patient access to services - providing PET-CT scanning at six new locations
  • £87m investment to install new scanners and improve the current infrastructure
  • A commitment to move away from mobile scanning services towards sustainable, high quality static sites
  • Faster production of reports, meaning patients receive test results more quickly, allowing treatment to start earlier
  • Scanners available up to seven days a week, rather than on fewer designated days as is the current practice in many areas