Calls for MPs to back £50m plan for 'world class' cancer care for Bassetlaw patients
Ministers are being asked to back a £50million plan that will provide cancer care treatment and support to thousands of people and families in Bassetlaw.
Bassetlaw District Council leader Simon Greaves along with MPs from across the political divide have written to the Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock urging him to invest and transform Weston Park Cancer Centre in Sheffield.
The centre supports patients across South Yorkshire and the Bassetlaw district.
While cancer services were maintained throughout the COVID pandemic in the region, current estimates suggest that there were around 7,000 fewer cancer referrals and 500 fewer cancers diagnosed between March and December 2020.
Coun Greaves said: “Bassetlaw has access to world class healthcare thanks to Weston Park Hospital, which is a leading specialist hospital for cancer diagnosis and treatment.
"Thousands of families in Bassetlaw have been supported and treated there. I absolutely support the call for further investment which will mean better services for local families.”
Kirsten Major, chief executive at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “Weston Park Cancer Centre is one of four dedicated cancer hospitals in the NHS in England and has always been at the forefront of cancer care and research.
"We have some of the best cancer specialists in Europe working in the Centre, but we need to match the facilities we have with that expertise in order to continue to deliver the most advanced care possible for patients.
“Prior to the pandemic we had developed exciting plans to create a world class cancer treatment and research centre in partnership with the University of Sheffield.
"The pandemic has made this ever more urgent as we know there will be a significant increase in cancer referrals, diagnosis and treatments over the coming years.”
The call comes as the World Health Organisation recently acknowledged that one of the gravest threats posed by COVID is its potential to create a cancer epidemic.
It’s estimated that delayed diagnosis and treatment in the United Kingdom are expected to result in an increase in the number of deaths from colorectal cancer by 15 per cent, and nine per cent for breast cancer over the next five years.