‘It takes over your life’ – Hitchin pensioner supports North East Herts MP’s campaign for Stevenage radiotherapy centre

Calls have been made to have a satellite radiotherapy centre at Lister Hospital in Stevenage.

Calls have been made to have a satellite radiotherapy centre at Lister Hospital in Stevenage. - Credit: Archant

A Hitchin pensioner who had to make the 35 mile journey to Mount Vernon Hospital in London every day for eight weeks of radiotherapy treatment said he is backing North East Herts MP Sir Oliver Heald’s petition to get a satellite radiotherapy centre at Lister Hospital.

Tony Pugh has personal experience of travelling to Mount Vernon Hospital for treatment.

Tony Pugh has personal experience of travelling to Mount Vernon Hospital for treatment. - Credit: Archant

Tony Pugh of Grange Close was diagnosed with prostate cancer just under two years ago. He started the 39 sessions of radiotherapy treatment at the hospital in Northwood, London in September and had to get a shared taxi with other people living around Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, sometimes waiting for drop-offs in Luton and Dunstable before he got home.

Tony said: “It would take the entire afternoon, sometimes I wouldn’t get home until after 7pm, it took a hell of a long time. It takes over your life.

“The expense to make that round trip for the NHS must be so high.”

The 79-year-old no longer needs to make the journey, but is still receiving hormone injections from his local GP. He said: “I’m backing the petition to get a radiotherapy unit at the Lister. I give it my 100% support.


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“It would have saved me a lot of time travelling. But I would like to stress the treatment I received was absolutely wonderful, I couldn’t have asked for better care.”

Sir Oliver will present his petition to parliament on March 10 and will meet representatives from NHS England on March 24. The petition currently has 4,000 signatures. To find out how to sign, visit www.oliverheald.com/campaigns/radiotherapy-facility-lister-hospital.

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Sir Oliver said: “We are asking for two radiotherapy machines at the Lister. At present, Stevenage, Hitchin and Letchworth count as within a 45 minute journey to Mount Vernon. Former constituent Lewis Hamilton wouldn’t make it in that time.”

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