Bassetlaw Council leader signs cross-party letter urging Health Secretary to back £50million Weston Park cancer plan

The Bassetlaw District Council leader has joined other politicians in calling for the Government to invest millions into the region’s specialist cancer hospital.

Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 7:30 pm

Simon Greaves and Rother Valley MP Alexander Stafford have signed the letter, penned by Sheffield City Region Mayor, Dan Jarvis, which calls on Health Secretary Matt Hancock to invest £50 million in Sheffield’s Weston Park Cancer Hospital.

Weston Park is one of four specialist cancer hospitals in the country supporting more than 1.5 million people across Bassetlaw and South Yorkshire.

The cross-party letter, also signed by many South Yorkshire MPs and council leaders, said the specialist centre was "in urgent need of refurbishment."

Weston Park Hospital. Picture by Marie Caley

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While cancer services were maintained through the pandemic, new figures suggest there were around 7,000 fewer cancer referrals and 500 fewer cancers diagnosed between March and December 2020 across the region.

The impact of referrals returning to pre-Covid-19 levels, the need for more diagnostics, the increasing complexity of treatments and the ongoing need to maintain COVID-safe environments means that ‘additional capacity is needed now more than ever’ so staff can guarantee patients get timely and specialist treatment.

Mayor Jarvis hailed the hospital as a ‘significant asset’ but urged Government to invest for much needed refurbishments .

He said: “Weston Park Cancer Centre is a hugely significant asset for South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw and is one of only a handful of specialist facilities in the country that provides dedicated patient care. Each and every day they are transforming people’s lives with world leading cancer care and research, offering personalised care and support.

“The facility is now in urgent need of refurbishment and the plans that have been developed would deliver cutting edge innovation through cancer treatment in novel chemotherapy, immunotherapy and radiotherapy.

“Put simply, the £50m proposal would support improved provision of NHS oncology services to 1.5 million people across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw with the potential to significantly improve the outcomes of patients with cancer.

“We have a shovel-ready plan that will transform the lives of cancer patients, not just in South Yorkshire, but across the country. Political leaders are united behind this plan and we now need the government to back us.”

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