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Farron presses health minister on Kendal radiotherapy unit

November 15, 2016 5:30 PM

In a very personal plea in the House of Commons today, South Lakes MP Tim Farron pressed a health minister about plans for a radiotherapy unit at Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal.

Tim told Health Department minister David Mowat how he had lost his own mother to ovarian cancer, and raised the plight of South Lakes residents who have to make the long journey to Preston for radiotherapy treatment at the Rosemere cancer unit. Tim pushed the minister over plans for a satellite unit to be set up at Westmorland General in Kendal, to serve South Lakes residents.

The minister admitted travel times for cancer patients in the South Lakes were too long, and promised to look into it further. Tim has also written to the minister to request a meeting to discuss the issue further.

In January 2015, the Treasury promised to provide the £15million needed to bring the unit to Kendal. However, since then the plans have foundered as the government has refused to push the project forward.

Tim said: "I welcome the minister's commitment to look into this today, but local people have a growing sense of frustration at the government's continued stalling. Almost two years ago, we managed to secure funding for this project. However, since then the government has got cold feet and failed to push the project forward.

"For South Lakes residents suffering from cancer, it is simply not acceptable that they are forced to travel such long distances to access radiotherapy treatment. The government cannot continue to let rural residents down like this."