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MP moves radiotherapy unit another step closer

October 21, 2014 3:03 PM

Tim and the Lib Dems at WGHSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has secured a major meeting with health ministers and NHS England to try and bring a radiotherapy centre to Westmorland General Hospital.

At health questions in the House of Commons this morning Tim asked Jane Ellison MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health: "NHS England has identified South Cumbria as one of just 3 places in England where there is a need to provide new radiotherapy services due to unacceptably long and debilitating travel distances.

"So will she agree to meet with me and NHS England to ensure that agreement for a new radiotherapy unit in Kendal is finalised this autumn?"

Speaking after asking his question, Tim said: "This a huge step forward in our campaign to bring a new cancer centre to Westmorland General. Bringing ministers and NHS England all around the table will hopefully break the log jam and give this much needed project the green light.

"We still have a lot of work to do before we get the world class cancer facilities we want, but I am sure that our local determination to have this centre built means that we will be successful."

"Asking patients and their families to make the gruelling journey to Preston for radiotherapy treatment must end. I will keep pushing until we get a full cancer treatment unit at Westmorland General. We are moving in the right direction, but we need to keep the pressure on."

In July, the NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have said that they want to 'prioritise the resources necessary' for a cancer treatment centre in Kendal.

In their Five Year Strategic Plan for Cumbria, the CCG said: "The Better Care Together partners support the campaign to provide radiotherapy at Kendal and would strongly urge NHS England to prioritise the resources necessary to establish a sustainable centre at Westmorland General, which will ensure all our residents can access high quality care within national standards and which can be a beacon of excellence for cancer care in the wider sub region.

Tim has lead a major campaign to bring this vital service to our area and build on his success of bringing chemotherapy to our hospital. Over 10,000 people have signed a petition to bring radiotherapy and over 2,000 people joined a march in Kendal to call for the treatment to be offered.