Campaign launched for radiotherapy at Stevenage’s Lister

AN MP, in partnership with The Comet, has launched a campaign for a new cancer treatment centre at Lister Hospital, to provide radiotherapy services at the Stevenage site.

MP for Stevenage, Stephen McPartland, is calling for the unit to be given the green light in order to provide 80 per cent of radiotherapy for patients in east and north Herts, and The Comet is supporting the move.

“Cancer patients received a raw deal from the last government, when the planned cancer unit at Hatfield was scrapped,” he said.

“It is imperative we move cancer services closer to people’s homes.”

Mr McPartland said it is “unacceptable” that cancer patients in Stevenage currently have to travel about 40 miles to Mount Vernon Hospital in Northwood, Middlesex, for radiotherapy.

“We need to campaign hard to demonstrate there is a real need for a radiotherapy unit based at Lister, which could provide services to most patients in Hertfordshire and many in Bedfordshire,” he said.

“I am encouraging residents from across the county to help support our campaign.”

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Darren Isted, editor of The Comet, said: “Improving cancer services at Lister by providing radiotherapy on site will make a huge difference to patients needing treatment. The last thing people need to be thinking about at such a difficult time is travelling long distances for care. Providing vital services on the doorstep will remove these unnecessary concerns.”

Nick Carver, chief executive of the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, which runs Lister, said he welcomes the campaign.

NHS Hertfordshire – the primary care trust – will ultimately decide whether or not to give the green light for the unit at Lister.

Mr Carver said: “For some time now, we have stated publicly our desire that once the fourth phase of the Lister’s redevelopment – around upgrading all remaining emergency and acute inpatient services – is completed, we must seek to improve further local access to specialist cancer services. A satellite radiotherapy unit at Lister would help us do just that.”

Click on the link in the top right hand corner of the page to sign the petition.