We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

MP secures agreement of Treasury to fund radiotherapy unit

January 15, 2015 3:05 PM

Tim and the Lib Dems at WGHSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has secured an agreement from the Treasury that they will fund the £15 million project to bring a radiotherapy unit to Kendal, subject to the business case being approved.

In a letter to Tim, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander MP then went further and said: 'I will ask University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust and Lancashire Teaching NHS Trust to conduct a joint feasibility assessment of the scheme.'

He says that he: 'would expect this assessment could be completed in around three months.'

Finally Danny Alexander said: 'Should the Department [of Health] support the project, then I can confirm that the Treasury will also support it.'

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, almost no one lives within 45 minutes of our nearest unit at Preston.

Last July, the NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said that they want to 'prioritise the resources necessary' for a cancer treatment unit 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 led a major campaign to bring this vital service to our area, building on his success of bringing chemotherapy to Westmorland General Hospital. Over 10,000 people have signed his petition to bring radiotherapy and 2,000 local residents accompanied him on a march through Kendal to call for the treatment to be offered locally.

Tim said: "Over the last few years, I have pressed and pressed ministers and civil servants about agreeing to bring a radiotherapy centre to Westmorland General. It has been a long slog, but this announcement means that, like our recent success securing £15 million for the Lakes Line, if the business case stacks up the money is there for the radiotherapy unit.

"For me, this is a deeply personal campaign. I lost my Mum to ovarian cancer and my mother in law to pancreatic cancer. I've seen friends with cancer travel for treatment every day and seen the terrible toll it puts on families. Asking people to make that gruelling two-hour round trip for treatment is not acceptable in these days of improved cancer care."

"I want high quality, safe and effective radiotherapy on our doorstep at Westmorland General and today we are another major step closer to making that a reality."