New Satellite Radiotherapy Unit in Swindon given the go-ahead by NHS England

The radiotherapy service at the Great Western Hospital site will be a satellite of the OUH Cancer Centre which is located at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford.

The new unit is needed to meet the increased demand for radiotherapy that is predicted over the next ten years and to reduce the amount of travelling for patients from Swindon and Wiltshire who currently have to travel to Oxford for radiotherapy.

Swindon and most of Wiltshire are one of the very few parts of the country which do not currently have access to radiotherapy services within a 45 minute travel time.

Around 700 patients a year currently make the 70+ mile round-trip to the Churchill Hospital in Oxford for radiotherapy. Treatment usually lasts for four to seven weeks, made up of daily visits.

Mark Mansfield, Director of Finance and Procurement at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said:

"I am so pleased to be able to confirm that this project has now been given the go ahead by NHS England. We have been working closely with them as the commissioners of our services and together we share an ambition to reduce the travel time for patients from the Swindon and Wiltshire area who are receiving radiotherapy in our hospitals.

"We are proud of the excellent facilities and services that we can provide for patients at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford, but we want to reduce the travel time and inconvenience for patients from outside of Oxfordshire.

"I am really pleased that we are now able to start work on the new unit."

Jennifer Green, Head of Fundraising, Brighter Futures, Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s charity, running the Radiotherapy Appeal, said:

“This is fantastic news and means we’re a step closer to lifesaving radiotherapy treatment being available in Swindon.

“We’ve already raised £350,000 towards the £2.9 million we need to pay for the equipment and we now need more local people, businesses and organisations to get behind our Radiotherapy Appeal.

“Around 700 local cancer patients a year face the 70 mile round trip to Oxford each day for radiotherapy treatment, which usually lasts for four to seven weeks. Bringing cancer care closer to home will make a massive difference to so many local families.

Please contact Brighter Futures on 01793 605631 to find out how you can show your support or to find out more about our appeal.

The planning stages of the project are well advanced and it is hoped that the service could be provided in Swindon by early 2018.

Local people, businesses and organisations interested in supporting the Radiotherapy Appeal should phone 01793 605631