Local MP Tim Farron’s long-running campaign for a radiotherapy unit in Kendal has been given a boost this week as health bosses announced they have launched a formal study into the idea.
NHS England have started a feasibility study to look at the possibility of bringing a unit to the Westmorland General Hospital.
The study comes after Tim met with leading commissioners from NHS England to raise the lack of access to radiotherapy treatment for people living in South Cumbria and the need for a unit closer to home.
Currently most people in South Cumbria needing radiotherapy treatment have to travel over an hour to their nearest radiotherapy unit in Preston.
According to new research from the charity Action Radiotherapy, there is an average increase in demand for radiotherapy of 20% when there is a satellite unit, meaning that 1 in 6 patients in the South Lakes could benefit from radiotherapy that currently aren’t getting it.
Tim said: “It’s fantastic news that health bosses have finally acknowledged the case that our community has been making for a long time that a radiotherapy unit is desperately needed at Westmorland General.
“For patients being treated for cancer, the fact that they have to travel such long distances to get treatment is a really big added burden.
“Our campaign to win a radiotherapy unit for Westmorland General Hospital will mean patients no longer have to travel debilitating distances and instead will be close to friends and family at a time when they most need their support.
“After our long community campaign, we brought chemotherapy to Kendal. I’m now convinced that if we come together as a community again we can get radiotherapy treatment closer to home.”