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MP calls on Health Secretary to use Kendal to deliver cancer pledge

December 14, 2012 9:57 AM

Cancer Unit MarchSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has called on the Health Secretary to live up to his words on cancer treatment and give the green light to plans to bring radiotherapy services to Kendal.

Speaking at the Britain against Cancer Conference, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP emphasised the need to reduce variation across England, so all areas reach the excellent standards of the best. He went on to say: "I want to make sure that our survival is among the best and NHS patients receive the best treatment available."

Tim has called on him to live up to that promise and use part of the recently announced £165 million made available to expand radiotherapy capacity, including the Radiotherapy Innovation Fund to bring a full cancer treatment centre to Westmorland GeneralHospital.

Tim's campaign has meant that Westmorland GeneralHospital now has a Chemotherapy Centre and Tim is campaigning to bring Radiotherapy too - last week he met with the UK's national Director of Cancer Strategy, Professor Mike Richards to win his continuing support for the Kendal radiotherapy unit.

Earlier this year over 2,000 people marched through Kendal to hand over a petition calling for the service to brought to the SouthLakes.

The National Radiotherapy Advisory Group has advised that patients should have to travel no more than 45 minutes for radiotherapy treatment. No part of the SouthLakes is within 45 minutes of the RoyalPrestonHospital - and some patients face journeys of over two hours each way. Currently patients requiring radiotherapy from anywhere in the SouthLakes and Furness peninsula have to make the gruelling journey to the Rosemere unit in Preston - sometimes on a daily basis.

Tim said: "Over 10,000 people have signed our petition, over 2,000 local people joined our march and the campaign is backed by the Westmorland Gazette.

"The Health Secretary's statement shows that the government are beginning to listen to rural areas like ours - but we need action, not words. What they must do is give our bid the green light so that we can start the work on building our new radiotherapy centre at the Westmorland General Hospital."