Putting operator experience at the heart of a new isolator suite for the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust

Published: 25-Jul-2022

The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre is one of the UK’s leading cancer centres, serving the population of Cheshire and Merseyside

The centre provides inpatient care, advanced radiotherapy, chemotherapy and new generation treatments such as gene therapies and immunotherapies. Its new Liverpool city centre building was opened in June 2020 and Envair were chosen to supply a range of isolators for the new aseptic pharmacy, which manufactures all the chemotherapy doses for solid tumour cancers.

In order to build capacity within the pharmacy and increase their work in clinical trials, the Clatterbridge team selected five negative pressure isolators and two rapid gassing VHP isolators, effectively allowing nine people to be working at any one time. This improved capacity has enabled two isolators to be dedicated to trials for advanced therapeutic medicinal products and gene therapy, whilst the remaining isolators continue to be used for batch and individual dose production.

A reputation for engineering and service excellence

Jayne Kelly, Deputy Chief Pharmacist Technical Services and Clinical Trials, explained that the Trust chose to work with Envair because of the company’s reputation for engineering and service excellence. She also appreciated the proactive consultancy she received at the beginning of the project, when Envair’s engineers advised on elements of the isolators that she and her team may not have given consideration to, down to the shape of the glove sleeves and hanging rails.

They benefited from close partnership throughout, which included witnessing factory tests and live demonstrations in the early stages and thorough testing at the point of installation. And the attention to detail has paid off. Jayne says that the team find the isolators especially easy to use, thanks to the vari height work surface, being able to see the countdown to when they can open the hatch, foot pedals and of course, those specially designed glove sleeves which have provided greater operator flexibility.

Commenting on the project, Envair Managing Director Gary Bagshaw said, “We’re so proud to have played our part in getting this new hospital operational, helping to accelerate Clatterbridge’s important work in clinical trials.”

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