Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland recently launched a campaign for a new cancer treatment unit with radiotherapy based at the Lister hospital. The campaign is in partnership with the Comet newspaper and reinforces Stephen's commitment to protecting and improving our local NHS.
Since the launch there has been a fantastic response from local people with more than 800 people joining the independent facebook group, Campaign for a Radiotherapy Unit at Lister Hospital, and many hundreds signing the Comet’s petition through the form available on-line or in the paper version of the newspaper. Please use the links to register your support.
Stephen said “not only do we have the support of clinicians at the hospital but it makes sense to locate any new machines at the Lister to deliver the best healthcare possible for local people. I am encouraging residents from across the county to help support our campaign”.
Stephen added “Cancer patients received a raw deal from the last government, when the planned cancer unit at Hatfield was scrapped. It is imperative that we move cancer services closer to people’s homes. It is unacceptable that currently cancer patients in Stevenage have to travel to Mount Vernon Hospital in London to receive radiotherapy treatment, which is a very difficult journey of 40 miles and is required to be made many times during the course of treatment. We need to campaign hard to demonstrate that there is a real need for a radiotherapy unit based at the Lister Hospital, which could provide services to most patients in Hertfordshire and many in Bedfordshire.”
Stephen explained further, “The realistic expectation would be to have two linear accelerators on the Lister site, which would need four staff, a bioengineer and back-up to run this facility. Such a facility could treat:
- Breast cancer
- Colorectal cancer (mainly rectal for radiotherapy)
- Pelvic cancers including prostate and gynaecological cancers
- Palliation of bone metastases
- Palliation of lung cancer
- Palliation of brain metastases.
It is unlikely this facility would be suitable for head and neck radiotherapy, which would need to be undertaken at Mount Vernon.
We currently have a Clinical Oncologist on site at the Lister most days of the week, so medical cover is not a major issue and it is estimated that perhaps 80% of radiotherapy for our East and North Herts patients could be given in a unit on the Lister site.”