Swindon MPs Robert Buckland and Justin Tomlinson have welcomed the news that the Health Secretary has approved a multi-million-pound loan for a Radiotherapy Unit at Great Western Hospital.
The news comes after the MPs lobbied Ministers to provide the final funding required to deliver much-needed lifesaving cancer treatment in Swindon; ending the need for patients to travel to Oxford & Bristol for treatment.
Robert and Justin wrote to the Health Secretary and Chief Executive of NHS England asking for their support in May 2015 and helped to launch the Brighter Futures Radiotherapy Appeal.
On the 6th December 2018, thanks to the efforts of thousands of people in the local community and with the support of many local businesses, the £2.9 million fundraising target was reached.
This latest success builds on the hard work of the town’s MPs to secure vital investment in local health services. In recent weeks, thanks to lobbying by Justin and Robert, Swindon has been allocated £769,255 to help alleviate winter pressures on the NHS and adult social care by helping get patients home quicker and freeing up hospital beds, while the region will benefit from £6.7 million for new ambulance and urgent care vehicles.
All of this comes in addition to the £29.573 million Swindon’s MPs secure to deliver a modern Integrated A&E, which will provide a reconfigured and rightsized Emergency Department as well as a transitional care facility.
Robert commented: “I have been campaigning hard along with North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson since the launch of the Brighter Futures Fundraising Campaign back in May 2015, and I am delighted that following regular contact with the Health Secretary and Government finance ministers, the loan has now been given the green light.
“The new radiotherapy unit will save around 700 Swindon patients a year from a gruelling 70-mile round trip for treatment at Oxford’s Churchill Hospital.
“Like many people in our town, I have been involved in fundraising events for the appeal, such as the Gingerbread Fun Run and a Music Marathon at Immanuel Church in Old Walcot. The support that this campaign has received from thousands of fundraisers is a reflection of the strong sense of community spirit that exists here in Swindon and I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been involved.”
Justin said: “I am delighted that the final funding is now in place to deliver this much-needed radiotherapy centre in Swindon. For too long, local residents have faced trips to Oxford & Bristol for treatment, and this announcement means that work to change that can now begin.
“Throughout this process, both Robert & I have lobbied Ministers & senior NHS officials to secure this funding; as well as hosting & taking part in a number of fundraising events for the Brighter Futures Appeal. Our town should be proud of the way residents have come together to secure this new facility that will save lives, and I look forward to the centre opening!”