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MP steps up radiotherapy fight as bid for new unit is submitted

January 22, 2014 11:05 AM

Tim and the Lib Dems at WGHSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has made a formal bid to NHS bosses calling for radiotherapy services to be brought to Westmorland General as soon as possible.

One of the potential barriers to getting radiotherapy in the SouthLakes was been the inflexibility over the funding formula for smaller rural radiotherapy units such as the one proposed for Kendal. The 'national standard tariff' is too low to cover the costs at these smaller units. Tim was able to convince ministers to change their mind on this.

This hurdle has been surmounted and the bid is now with the national NHS commissioners. The formal bid letter from Tim and UHMBT asks for a decision to be made soon. Thousands of local people have signed a petition to bring the vital service to our hospital.

Tim has now written to the specialist NHS commissioners in charge of national cancer policy and asked them to look at the bid.

Tim hopes that NHS Commissioners will give the green light to the project and that this service can be added to chemotherapy, which is now onsite at Westmorland General after a public campaign from Tim and residents.

Tim said: "I hope that this bid, our campaign and my lobbying will push this up the commissioners agenda.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.

"Hundreds of local people are forced to travel unbearable distances for vital radiotherapy. Having won our campaign to get chemotherapy to Kendal, we now stand an even greater chance of winning radiotherapy too."