Westmorland General Hospital welcomes the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg and local MP Tim Farron to the new Chemotherapy Unit
On 25 August, Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg and local MP Mr Tim Farron visited the new Chemotherapy Unit at WGH to speak with staff and patients and discuss our hopes to bring a radiotherapy centre to WGH.
The Unit saw its first patients on 8 June 2011 and is currently treating around 30 patients per week in two oncology clinics with a further two haematology clinics per week planned.
The unit provides day-case chemotherapy treatment to people from Kendal and the South Lakes, giving cancer patients the opportunity to receive their treatment closer to home, instead of travelling to Lancaster or Barrow.
Mr Clegg who praised ‘the wonderful new Chemotherapy Unit’ was met by Professor Eddie Kane, Chair, Mr Peter Dyer, Medical Director, and Mr Patrick McGahon, Director of Service and Commercial Development, and given a tour of the unit where he met with staff on the unit and patients currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment at WGH. Mr Clegg also heard the Trusts bid to bring a radiotherapy centre to Kendal.
Working with the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, we have submitted a bid to bring radiotherapy services to WGH as a satellite of the Rosemere centre in Preston. In 2007, the National Radiotherapy Advisory Group (NRAG) produced a report recommending that radiotherapy provision be increased nationally. This has been driven by an increase in population, a growth in cancer incidence and an increase in the recommended number of fractions (doses of radiation) per patient course.
The Cancer Reform Strategy highlighted that England’s survival rates for cervical, colorectal and breast cancer are amongst the worst in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. If England was to improve to the European average, we would save approximately 5,000 more lives each year. The strategy also states that access to radiotherapy is critical to improving these outcomes.
Prior to the new chemotherapy unit opening in July, patients requiring chemotherapy had to travel to Lancaster or Barrow. Patients requiring radiotherapy from anywhere in the South Lakes and Furness peninsula have to make the gruelling journey to the Rosemere unit in Preston –sometimes on a daily basis.
In May 2011, we submitted a business case to the Cumbria and Lancashire NHS Collaborative Commissioning Board for a satellite radiotherapy service in Kendal which will cut journey times for patients. If this is approved, the new service will increase radiotherapy capacity in the region and help meet the predicted increase in demand due to the ageing population and rising cancer rates.
Mr Peter Dyer, Medical Director said ‘We were delighted to welcome Mr Nick Clegg and Mr Farron to look around the Chemotherapy Unit. We’re extremely grateful to the patients and staff on the unit for taking the time to speak to Mr Clegg. He was clearly impressed with the new unit and the hard work and fundraising of local charities which made this possible. We also took the opportunity to speak to him about our bid for Radiotherapy and our hopes for the future’.
VIEW ALL NEWS
For further press information please contact Louise Fleming on 01539 716685
or e-mail email@example.com