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4. Installation of VERT Systems

4.1. Installation of VERT in England

4.1.1 Funding for software (Version 2.5), hardware and some refurbishment was originally provided to 10 educational institutions and 42 NHS trusts within England.  Subsequently, one additional trust, which had a new radiotherapy service, was granted funding for a Seminar VERT system.

4.1.2 Installations in trusts and educational institutions commenced in early 2008 and continued throughout the course of the 18 month Project.  All 10 Immersive VERT systems were installed within educational institutions by July 2008. Seminar VERT systems were installed in radiotherapy and oncology departments of 31 NHS trusts by the end of September 2009 with a further 4 anticipating completion within the four months following completion of the Project.  Installation in another 7 trusts is planned for later in 2010 or early 2011.  One Trust which received funding had not planned or commenced preparation for installation by the end of the Project.

Table 1 below summarises the position at the end of September 2009.
 

Immersive VERT systems installed in educational institutions  10
Seminar VERT systems installed in radiotherapy and oncology departments 31
 Departmental installation expected by February 2010  4
 Future installations within departments planned for 2010/2011  7
 Funding approved but installation not planned  1
 No application for funding made and VERT not installed  8

Table 1: VERT Installations in England

 4.1.3 Systems in institutions with readily available rooms, requiring minimal building work, were the first to be installed.  Although sufficient funding was originally identified for Seminar VERT systems in 51 radiotherapy and oncology departments, 8 departments did not apply for funding. These trusts elected to delay installation until completion of work associated with a new build or extension to an existing department. While this has delayed the introduction of VERT and means these departments have missed out on the available support, there may be longer term benefit because of the possibility of securing a purpose-built room, closer to the department. (See 6.4.4 'Location of VERT’)

 

4.2. VERT in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

Representatives from the educational institutions in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales attended the National User Group, contributing their different experiences with VERT over the course of the Project.

4.2.1 Northern Ireland
The University of Ulster purchased and installed an Immersive VERT system before funding was made available to the English institutions and had started using it, therefore, with students prior to the other countries.  There were no Seminar VERT systems installed in the Northern Ireland radiotherapy and oncology departments.

4.2.2 Scotland
There were no installations in Scotland during the period of the Project. However, the two educational institutions in Scotland had both sought private sector funding for VERT.

4.2.3 Wales
Cardiff University purchased and installed a custom version of VERT during the course of the Project.  Vertual Ltd. supplied the software but the University negotiated with different companies for supply of the computer hardware and projectors. There was no plan, at that time, to install Seminar VERT systems in any of the Welsh radiotherapy and oncology departments.

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