Landmark decision brings radiotherapy to GWH a step closer

Posted: July 8, 2015

Landmark decision brings radiotherapy to GWH a step closer

Bringing radiotherapy treatment for local cancer patients to Swindon's Great Western Hospital (GWH) is a step closer following a landmark decision taken by Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust (OUH).

On Wednesday 8 July its board formally approved the plan for OUH to have a satellite radiotherapy centre at GWH, which would mean an end for many patients to daily trips to Oxford's Churchill Hospital for treatment.

Treatment could be available locally in 2017

The project has now gone to the Trust Development Authority and NHS England for final funding approval and if given the green light, radiotherapy could be available at GWH by the end of 2017.

Brighter Futures, Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust's charity, is working to raise £2.9m to help equip the centre with two linear accelerators, which would deliver treatment in the OUH-staffed centre.

Annually around 700 local people have to travel daily to Oxford for up to seven weeks for radiotherapy - a 70-mile round-trip from Swindon and longer from other parts of Wiltshire.

Great news for the community

Dr Guy Rooney, Medical Director for Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: "This decision is great news for everybody in Swindon and Wiltshire as it means that our fantastic hospital is within touching distance of providing local people with radiotherapy treatment on their doorstep.

"A huge amount of collaborative work has been done over the years to get to this very exciting point and I am sure the public will be delighted to hear of this latest significant piece of progress.

"We have already had a brilliant public response to our fundraising appeal and long may that continue.

"I have spoken to many people who have either had to make the frequent journey to Oxford for cancer treatment or those who have family members who have had to do so - I recognise the difficulties that the journey can bring.

"With all being well in a couple of years' time many local cancer patients can receive radiotherapy at Great Western Hospital - that really will be a fantastic development for local healthcare and for the community generally."

Excellent facilities

Paul Brennan, Director of Clinical Services for Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "It has long been our ambition to reduce the travel time for patients from the Swindon and Wiltshire area who are receiving radiotherapy in our hospitals.

"We are proud of the excellent facilities and services that we can provide for patients at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford, but we want to reduce the travel time and inconvenience for patients from outside of Oxfordshire.

"I am really pleased that today we have taken another major step in our project to deliver our services to cancer patients in Swindon and Wiltshire much nearer to their homes, by formally approving the project.

"We are now awaiting approval from the Trust Development Authority and NHS England to confirm that the project is viable in respect of funding."


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