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Radiotherapy investment overlooks problem of travel times for South Lakes residents

December 8, 2016 3:02 PM

A new radiotherapy machine at the Rosemere Cancer Centre in Preston is welcome, but does nothing to address the long travel times for South Lakes residents, according to local MP Tim Farron. He has accused the government of stalling over plans for a radiotherapy centre in Kendal.

The Rosemere Cancer Centre at Preston is one of 15 centres across the country that will benefit from new linear accelerator machines (LINAC) to provide radiotherapy treatment.

However, Tim has pointed out that, while this is welcome, residents from South Lakeland will still have to travel long distances to access the treatment. The vast majority would have to travel for longer than the government's advised 45 minute maximum journey time.

Almost two years ago, the Coalition Government promised to provide £15million to bring radiotherapy services to Westmorland General in Kendal. However, since then the government has repeatedly failed to push the project forward.

Tim said: "I am pleased that old equipment is being updated at the Rosemere Centre, so it can continue to provide an excellent service.

"However, this investment overlooks the elephant in the room, which is the ridiculous distances that cancer patients in the South Lakes have to travel to access this treatment. The bottom line is that Preston is simply too far away.

"If the government is serious about improving radiotherapy services, it needs to carry through on its commitment to bring a radiotherapy unit to Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal. There can be no excuse for continually stalling these plans."