AFL Architects has been appointed to support Rutherford Diagnostics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Proton Partners, as it ‘plans to embark on an ambitious programme of healthcare development across the UK’.
Awarded the programme of works contract in 2018 following a competitive tender, the practice will work with Rutherford Estates as delivery partner across the schemes. The first going into construction is the five-storey Rutherford Diagnostics HQ building in Liverpool, as part of the £1bn Paddington Village masterplan. The project broke ground in early January, with the building to be located directly adjacent to the Rutherford Cancer Centre, which is currently in its later stages of construction.
The Rutherford Diagnostics team says it will be investing in ‘state-of-the-art’ diagnostic and research facilities including spectral CT, 3T MRI, digital PET CT, endoscopy, and genomics laboratories. Partnering with education establishments and NHS Trust providers, its approach will ‘be collaborative and flexible’, with the goal being to significantly increase diagnostics capacity in the UK, and, in doing so, ‘to radically reduce the number of avoidable and unnecessary cancer deaths caused by late diagnosis’. In tandem the team will undertake genomics research that it hopes will lead to ‘new, personalised treatments’.
Dr Steven Powell, chief diagnostic officer, Rutherford Diagnostics, said: “There is a significant shortfall in diagnostic provision in the UK when compared with our European neighbours, which leads to late stage diagnosis. By embarking on this project in partnership with AFL Architects and its wider design team, we will be in part addressing that imbalance.”