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Health

MP launches petition calling for the UK to have a world class radiotherapy service

Tim Farron MP with the vice chair of the APPG, Gillian Keegan MP and Professor Pat Price, Chair of Action Radiotherapy

[S]outh Lakes MP Tim Farron has started a petition calling for the UK to have a world class radiotherapy service accessible for all cancer patients.

If the petition reaches 100,000 signatures, then it will be considered for debate in Parliament.

Last month the all-party parliamentary group on radiotherapy, which Tim chairs, produced its manifesto for radiotherapy.

The manifesto called on the Government to increase its investment in radiotherapy and improve access to treatment.

In the South Lakes, 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 centres in Preston or Carlisle.

The petition asks to increase the NHS Cancer budget dedicated to radiotherapy from 5% to 6.5%, and a one-off £250 million investment to modernise existing machines and build satellite radiotherapy centres to ensure accessible service nationwide.

Tim said: “One in two of us will get cancer in our lifetime. Around half of those will need radiotherapy treatment. But only 5% of the UK cancer budget goes on radiotherapy.

“The continued lack of investment also means accessibility continues to be a big issue with people who live in remote, rural areas like here in the South Lakes being 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.

“Extra investment is desperately needed so that all patients have access to the best radiotherapy as close to home as possible so that they can have an effective service which will increase the cure rate for cancer.”

To sign the petition, go here.

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