Leading cancer clinician backs MP’s call for radiotherapy centre in Kendal

March 24, 2023 1:20 PM
Originally published by Tim Farron

An MP's long-running campaign to bring radiotherapy treatment to the South Lakes has been given a boost after it received backing from a leading cancer clinician.

Professor Pat Price, an oncologist at Imperial College London and chair of the charity Radiotherapy UK, described plans to set up a satellite radiotherapy unit at Kendal's Westmorland General Hospital as "vitally important for cancer patients".

Speaking today, Professor Price said: "Radiotherapy is needed in 50% of cancer patients and is involved in 4 in 10 cancer cures. All patients should have access to the radiotherapy they deserve. Too many people in the South Lakes at the moment have to travel far too far to get their radiotherapy. A satellite centre at Westmorland General will transform cancer treatment. Tim Farron has worked tirelessly for over a decade to make this happen. He has our full support. Ministers must listen and help make this happen."

Tim recently raised the proposals directly with health ministers in Parliament.

Speaking during a Westminster Hall debate on cancer care, Tim said: "In our communities, the majority of patients using our nearest radiotherapy centre are making two or three-hour round trips every single day.

"The national radiotherapy advisory group says that it is bad practice for people to have to travel more than 45 minutes for treatment - never mind three-hour round trips every day for 30 days. As a consequence, some people do not get referred for treatment at all, or may even make the choice themselves not to finish that treatment. There is no doubt that that is having an impact on survival rates.

"We have built a strong case, in our community, for a radiotherapy satellite unit from the Rosemere unit in Preston - our nearest unit - to be deployed at the Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal.

"A solid clinical and business case was put for that, and I would be grateful if the Minister might agree to meet with me, even for just 15 minutes, to review that and consider the extent to which the Department might be able get behind it and other satellite units around the country that could cut waiting times and save lives."