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Work begins on £18m Swindon radiotherapy unit

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image copyrightGreat Western Hospital
image captionThe £18.4 m Satellite Radiotherapy Unit will be based at Swindon's Great Western Hospital

Work has begun on a new radiotherapy centre in Swindon which will save hundreds of cancer patients a 70-mile round trip for vital treatment.

The £18.4m Satellite Radiotherapy Unit will be based at the town's Great Western Hospital and was first proposed in 2009.

Local cancer patients are currently treated at Oxford's Churchill Hospital.

Health officials estimate the centre will save more than 13,000 journeys to Oxford a year.

Jason Dorsett from Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH) said: "Bringing radiotherapy to Swindon has been a long-standing priority for the local NHS.

"So many people have been working for so long on this, it is great to see real progress.

"The difference this new facility will make to local cancer patients and their families is so important. The reduction in travel time means less stress and anxiety and more time to do other things."

image copyrightOxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
image captionDr Claire Hobbs, head of radiotherapy at OUH (centre) said she was "delighted" to see construction work begin

Swindon and Wiltshire are among the few areas in England where cancer patients have to travel more than 45 minutes for radiotherapy.

About 700 patients a year from the area make the trip to Oxford for each treatment.

Most of these patients will now be able to have their radiotherapy treatment at the new unit.

Dr Claire Hobbs, head of radiotherapy at OUH, said she was "delighted" to see construction work begin, and added: "It is so exciting to see the beginnings of where our new services will be offered.

"We have always wanted our patients to be able to be cared for nearer to home."

The Department of Health and Social Care provided a loan to Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH) to build the unit.

The total cost included £2.9m raised by the Brighter Futures Charity for specialist equipment.

Related Topics

  • Oxford
  • Swindon
  • Radiotherapy

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