Last Updated: 06 February 2019
Created: 08 January 2019
Swindon MPs Justin Tomlinson & Robert Buckland have helped to secure the the final £13 million of funding required to the deliver a Radiotherapy Unit at the 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 additional £13 million will mean that work can start on the new state-of-the-art facility shortly.
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.
Justin Tomlinson MP said: “For too long, local residents who go through the dreadful ordeal of cancer treatment have faced 70-mile round trips to Oxford for treatment. This is also has an impact on the family & friends who go with them for support. This announcement means that work to change that can now begin and a new unit in Swindon will be able to offer treatment instead. Brighter Futures has demonstrated what amazing things our town can achieve when communities come together for such a wonderful cause. It has been fantastic to join a number of fundraising events – from local art displays to coffee mornings – to meet with hundreds of local residents who have all done their bit to help deliver a new Radiotherapy Unit. As a town, we are all very grateful for every single penny raised. As your local MPs, Robert and I will continue to do all that we can to secure vital Government funding for Swindon residents.”
Robert Buckland MP said: "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.”