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New industry report backs MP’s call for better access to radiotherapy treatment

October 17, 2018 3:41 PM

Tim at the manifesto launchLocal MP Tim Farron has welcomed a new report from patient groups, academics, government and the private sector which provides recommendations to the NHS that would improve access to advanced radiotherapy services in the UK.

One of the guidelines included is that NHS England should aim for a maximum of 45 minutes travel time for radiotherapy appointments.

In South Cumbria, cancer patients have to make a 2-3 hour round trip for five days a week, for weeks on end to reach their nearest treatment centre in Preston or Carlisle.

The report also backs the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Radiotherapy, which Tim chairs. It also backs their petition which calls for a one-time £250 million investment into radiotherapy services.

Currently, the NHS spends only 5% of its cancer budget on radiotherapy services although around 50% of cancer patients will need radiotherapy as a part of their treatment.

Tim said: "It's great to have this support from patient groups and industry professionals.

"The continued lack of investment in radiotherapy means accessibility continues to be a big issue with people who live in remote, rural areas.

"Here in the South Lakes, people are forced to take lengthy and expensive trips to reach their nearest treatment centre.

"There are serious consequences to this underinvestment, with cancer survival rates in the UK continuing to be well below the European average.

"We need to continue to fight for everyone in our country to have good access to this life-saving treatment."

To sign the petition for better access to radiotherapy services, go here.