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Farron secures meeting with new Health Sec after putting PM on spot over cancer unit

June 9, 2010 12:00 AM

South Lakeland MP Tim Farron today challenged Prime Minister David Cameron to act on the government's cancer reform strategy by backing plans to build a new cancer unit at Westmorland General Hospital.

Speaking today during Prime Minister's Questions, Mr Farron called on the PM to join the thousands of campaigners backing proposals for the new cancer centre by making the £15million unit a matter of urgency. The first stage of the Unit has already been agreed with chemotherapy arriving this year, but Tim is keen to ensure that the promised radiotherapy unit becomes a reality as soon as possible.

The Prime Minister's reply meant that Mr Farron succeeded in winning a meeting with Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley, who along with Mr Farron will be meeting with cancer patients and health chiefs to discuss plans for the new cancer centre.

Commenting Mr Farron said:

"According to the government's cancer reform strategy, no cancer patient should live more than 45 minutes from the nearest cancer treatment unit - but in South Cumbria, no one lives within 45 minutes of our nearest unit at Preston.

"Our proposal to bring radiotherapy treatment to south Cumbria already has the backing of the local hospital trust and thousands of residents who have petitioned for the cancer unit to be built.

"I'm delighted that the Prime Minister has asked the Health Secretary to meet with all those involved in the campaign for the cancer centre. We now have the perfect opportunity to get the government's support and to ensure that the promised and much needed cancer centre at Kendal becomes a reality as quickly as possible."