Secretary of State for Health Andy Burnham today gave his backing to local MP Tim Farron's plans to bring a new cancer unit to South Lakeland after admitting there was a "compelling case" for the new centre being built in Kendal.
Mr Farron met today with the Minister along with, Kevin McGee, the Chair of the Cumbria and Lancashire NHS Collaborative Commissioning Board, Karen Quigley, the Head of Operations and Performance at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay and Dr Hugh Reeve, GP Locality Lead-South Lakes, to discuss progress towards building the new £12million cancer unit.
The University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust are currently overseeing a detailed business case for the unit which could be open as early as 2012.
Over the last few months Tim has been at the forefront of the campaign to bring cancer treatment services to the South Lakes. Tim handed over an 8,000-strong petition calling for a cancer treatment unit in Kendal in October after a 44-mile walk to highlight the distance cancer patients currently have to travel.
Commenting Mr Farron said:
"I'm absolutely delighted that Andy Burnham is enthusiastic about bringing a new cancer unit to South Lakeland, but also that he was equally supportive of building it in Kendal.
"Patients requiring treatment for cancer in South Lakeland have to travel to Carlisle or Preston, enduring some of the longest distances in the UK for cancer treatment.
"Now that we have the backing of the Government, we can press home the case for bringing a much needed cancer centre to Kendal as quickly as possible."
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