Co-operating for Cancer Care NorthWest

John Day, committee member of Co-operating for Cancer Care NorthWest, CCC(NW) truly reflected the feelings of all its members at the end of last night’s public information sharing session held in Letterkenny General Hospital regarding the new Radiotherapy Unit at Altnagelvin, when he stated, “As I stood with my friends in front of the display of plans for this new Radiotherapy Unit at Altnagelvin, my heart was bursting with pride for the part we played in securing this vital service for cancer patients in the North West Region”
 

John Day, committee member of Co-operating for Cancer Care NorthWest, CCC(NW) truly reflected the feelings of all its members at the end of last night’s public information sharing session held in Letterkenny General Hospital regarding the new Radiotherapy Unit at Altnagelvin, when he stated, “As I stood with my friends in front of the display of plans for this new Radiotherapy Unit at Altnagelvin, my heart was bursting with pride for the part we played in securing this vital service for cancer patients in the North West Region”
 
Said Noelle Duddy, Spokesperson, CCC(NW), “Members of CCC(NW), have for over 7 years campaigned to retain and develop cancer services in Letterkenny General Hospital, (LGH) and we have led the campaign to secure provision of a cross border radiotherapy unit for people in Donegal/North West Region.”
 
During meetings with Ministers, Health Officials and others and before the decision was taken as to where the Radiotherapy Unit was to be sited, CCC(NW) stressed the following:  “We recognise that either LGH or Altnagelvin is a suitable site for a public radiotherapy unit in the NW.  However, it cannot be both.  Co-operation between both DoH and Health Executives will be required to reach an agreed decision as to which hospital will host radiotherapy services for the betterment of cancer patient’s care in the NW.  It is very important that this unit offers all patients equal access to treatment according to their clinical need.  When the decision is reached, we in CCC(NW) will support it.” 

“Last night in LGH we along with other stakeholders and members of the public listened to members of the Project Team deliver a very comprehensive, concrete overview of how this project is progressing.  The news to celebrate is that without doubt this unit will be built, staffed and operational to receive its first radiotherapy patients by mid 2016.”
 
Alan Moore, Director of Strategic Capital Development, Western Health & Social Care Trust, (WHSCT) stated, “I am pleased to advise that in relation to progress of our radiotherapy scheme, the Trust last Friday approved the award of two significant ‘Enabling Works Contracts’ totalling just under £4million.  This work will commence on site within weeks whilst concurrently over the forthcoming months we will continue to progress detailed scheme planning, select list preparation and tendering for the main radiotherapy scheme.”
 
In summary, the Radiotherapy Unit will:
 
Provide both single and combination radio/chemotherapy for curative and palliative purposes for all but the most complex of tumours (approx. 10% of patients from each jurisdiction will need to be treated in either Belfast or Dublin);

Include catchment population of Donegal, WHSCT and northern section of NHSCT, amounting to a total population of over 500,000;
 
Treat approximately 1,100 NI patients and 400 Donegal patients per year;
 
Have 3 linear accelerators and 4 treatment bunkers, a CT simulator for planning treatment, a mould room, a superficial X-Ray System, a CT scanner and MRI scanner for diagnostics, A total of 27 inpatient beds and record, verify and treatment planning systems;
 
Employ approx. 220 WTE staff from all specialised professional and support disciplines necessary to provide a comprehensive radiotherapy service.

More information:  Noelle Duddy: 086-0811-465 or Jim O’Donnell: 087-6777-903

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