Radiotherapy unit on track

The Cross-border radiotherapy unit for the north west is on schedule to open in 2016, a Donegal cancer services campaign group has said.

The Cross-border radiotherapy unit for the north west is on schedule to open in 2016, a Donegal cancer services campaign group has said.

Co-operating for Cancer Care North West says it is happy that the North West Radiotherapy Unit (NWRU) at Altnagevin Hospital in Derry is on track, after it met with an official from the North’s health department.

It is hoped that the construction of the radiotherapy unit will commence in autumn 2013, with completion by 2015. Following a period of commissioning, the unit is planned to be fully operational by mid 2016;

Noelle Duddy of CCCNW said: “Over the years we have developed very good working relationships with management from Letterkenny General Hospital and the Western Health & Social Care Trust at Altnagelvin. We believe that the central ethos for this unit must be one of social inclusion, equal access according to clinical need and true cross border collaboration based on LGH, Altnagelvin and both Health Boards working to develop each other’s strengths. Both hospitals and Health Boards must have ownership of these services so that a comprehensive, fluent, seamless cancer/radiotherapy service is provided for all cancer patients in the North West Region. CCCNW remains confident that staff from both Letterkenny and Altnagelvin Hospitals continue to work together, in collaboration to develop a world class radiotherapy service in the NW, for cancer patients.

“When it is operational the majority of cancer patients in Donegal/NW requiring radiotherapy will be able to receive their treatment near to home, families and friends. Patients who currently have to refuse treatment because they are unable to travel to Dublin, Galway or Belfast, will be able to accept and avail of treatment. The NWRU is a very successful good news story for this region. The services it will provide will do nothing short of strengthening and enhancing cancer services for patients in Donegal and the north west,” she added.