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Shropshire radiotherapy staff call for increased funds to fight cancer.

By Matthew Growcott | Health | Published:

Radiotherapy staff at Shropshire's hospitals are backing a petition calling for an increase in funds to fight cancer.

They are asking for the NHS cancer budget dedicated to radiotherapy to be increased from five per cent to 6.5 per cent each year, as well as a one off £250 million investment.

Bernadette Mortiboy, a technical superintendent at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, said the next few years will offer a number of "new and exciting" opportunities to improve care across the county – but that government funding was needed to get them.

"Radiotherapy has a huge part to play in giving the people of the UK the cancer treatment service they deserve," she said.

"Half of us will at some point develop cancer, meaning one in four of us will need radiotherapy at some point in our lifetime. More investment is critical – despite the demand, radiotherapy only receives five per cent of the UK cancer budget.

"Here in Shropshire we are incredibly lucky because we have three amazing machines. Thanks to the generosity of the people of Shropshire and mid Wales, through the Lingen Davies Cancer Fund we have one of the best equipped radiotherapy departments in the country.

"However Radiotherapy is a dynamic service and over the next few years there will be more new and exciting opportunities to improve the care we offer. To ensure that we can continue to offer the very best service we will need government investment."

Bernadette said nationally cancer survival rates are far below the European average. If that could be changed, 10,000 more people would survive each year.

"We’re asking to increase the NHS Cancer budget dedicated to radiotherapy from five percent to 6.5 per cent," she said. "We also want a one-off £250 million investment to modernise existing machines and build satellite radiotherapy centres to ensure an accessible service nationwide."

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Nationally more than 8,875 people have signed the petition to improve services, which was started by Professor Pat Price, chairman of the Action Radiotherapy charity.

It is hosted on the Government website and, once 10,000 people sign it, will receive a response from the Department of Health.

So far nearly 300 people have signed the petition across Shropshire, with a further 30 in Montgomeryshire.

For more information or to sign the petition visit petition.parliament.uk/petitions/225310/

Matthew Growcott

By Matthew Growcott
Reporter - @MGrowcott_Star

Shropshire Star reporter

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