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Shropshire radiotherapy staff celebrate after funding petition reaches 10,000 signatures

By Matthew Growcott | Health | Published:

Staff at Shropshire's radiotherapy unit said they feel like the mouse that roared after helping a petition calling for better treatment get to 10,000 signatures.

The petition, which is asking for an increase in radiotherapy funding nationally, has now reached enough people that the Government must give a comment.

Thanks to efforts by patients in Shropshire, as well as their friends and family, the county is second in the country for number of signatures.

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.

The extra money would help invest in future technologies which could help raise survival rates up to European average, saving thousands of lives each year.

Bernadette Mortiboy, a technical superintendent at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, said she was thrilled that so many people had backed their campaign.

"I regularly go into our waiting room to update the patients on how we are progressing and have been amazed and impressed at their commitment," she said.

"They have asked family and friends from around the country to sign up too so it’s not just our little corner of the county that has benefited from their efforts.

"Since we started this on November 22, the patients and staff have really worked hard, they have shared with their loved ones, work colleagues, guests for Christmas, every single visitor to our department, in fact anyone we could ask.

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"The uptake has been brilliant. So few people know what Radiotherapy is and it remains a mystery until you or someone you know needs to have some treatment, so asking people to sign a petition to ask for more money could have been daunting, but every person I have spoken has been so positive and supportive."

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

In Shropshire nearly 400 people have signed the petition, with a further 50 in Montgomeryshire.

"We couldn’t have done this without the support of those lovely people who are our patients, at a time when they need our support most they have been so generous in supporting us," Bernadette said.

"We are such a small department, but we are proud to offer our patients a world class service – today I feel like the mouse that roared."

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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