Push for radiotherapy unit at Lister Hospital goes on as health chiefs prepare case

PUBLISHED: 06:57 18 July 2015

A&E services for adults with minor injuries and illnesses have been suspended at the Lister hospital  today

A&E services for adults with minor injuries and illnesses have been suspended at the Lister hospital today

Archant

A campaign to establish a satellite radiotherapy unit at Stevenage’s Lister Hospital, saving patients from a long and gruelling treatment trip to Mount Vernon in North London, has taken another step forward.

Hitchin & Harpenden MP Peter Lilley in the House of CommonsHitchin & Harpenden MP Peter Lilley in the House of Commons

At Tuesday’s annual meeting of the East & North Herts NHS Trust, which runs both hospitals, health chiefs confirmed that they were preparing a case to put before the government to bring the unit to North Herts.

And Hitchin & Harpenden MP Peter Lilley, who has been pushing the issue in parliament along with Stephen McPartland and Sir Oliver Heald, his opposite numbers in Stevenage and North East Herts, has welcomed the development.

He said this week: “I am delighted to hear that the NHS trust are now working on it.

“I have been told that they have submitted information to NHS England to inform the national radiotherapy capacity planning process currently under way, as well as carrying out their own feasibility study to explore how such a facility might be provided at the Lister.

Hitchin & Harpenden MP Peter Lilley in the House of CommonsHitchin & Harpenden MP Peter Lilley in the House of Commons

“I understand that there might be additional financial requirements, should the NHS trust be commissioned to provide a satellite radiotherapy service, as the costs of running Mount Vernon would fall by less than the cost of running the new unit at the Lister. We wait to hear from NHS England as to how this project, which will lead to vital improvements in health services for our local community, might be financed.

“People in Hitchin and the surrounding villages currently have to make a long and exacting journey to Mount Vernon for treatment, and often this has to be made on consecutive days.

“A satellite facility in Stevenage would make the journey for radiotherapy treatment much easier for many patients who live in my constituency.”

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