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Farron presents bill to give better access to radiotherapy for cancer patients

December 1, 2016 12:45 PM

This week South Lakes MP Tim Farron presented a Bill to Parliament which aims to cap the maximum time patients need to travel for radiotherapy treatment.

Patients here in the South Lakes have to make the long journey to the Royal Preston Hospital for treatment - well in excess of the 45 minute maximum advised in a report published by the Department of Health in 2012.

Just last month Tim Farron pressed Health minister David Mowat in the Commons over plans for a long-planned satellite unit at Westmorland General in Kendal.

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

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

After presenting the Bill Tim said:

"The aim of this Bill is to force the government to finally push forward with the radiotherapy project at Westmorland General, almost two years after promising to provide the funding.

"Local people are frustrated at the government's continued stalling, so if it becomes law for patients to have to travel no more than 45 minutes to treatment, they will have no choice but to act.

"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."