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Farron welcomes first step towards new Radiotherapy unit at WGH

May 24, 2011 9:33 AM

Tim and NHS SOS campaigners celebrate the cardiac unit victory

South Lakes MP, Tim Farron, has today welcomed the submission of the business plan to bring a new radiotherapy unit to Westmorland General Hospital.

Patients in the South Lakes will soon be able to receive chemotherapy at Westmorland General Hospital as the new chemotherapy Unit opens next month.

Now Tim is encouraging local people to turn their focus to fighting to bring radiotherapy to the south Lakes for the first time.

Currently cancer patients requiring radiotherapy from across the South Lakes have to travel to Preston to receive treatment, which can be up to a 3 hour round trip. The nearest chemotherapy units are in Lancaster and Barrow. Government guidelines in the Cancer Reform Strategy state that no patient should have to travel for more than 45 minutes to receive treatment.

Tim's long term campaign to bring a full cancer unit to Westmorland General Hospital will reach a significant milestone as the long awaited chemotherapy unit opens in the coming weeks.

The business plan, which has been drawn up by University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust and the Preston-based Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, is the first step in the bid for a new radiotherapy unit for the hospital.

Commenting today Tim, who has walked the 44-miles from Preston to Kendal to highlight the distance patients currently have to travel for radiotherapy, said: "I am extremely glad that in just a matter of weeks cancer patients will have access to chemotherapy services in Kendal. This is an important achievement in the campaign and I am extremely proud that our hard work has paid off.

"However, this is only a first step. We must now focus our efforts on bringing a radiotherapy unit to the hospital to ensure that all cancer patients in the South Lakes have access to the best treatment without ridiculous travel times."

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