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As part of their plans to centralise cancer services, NHS England has launched a consultation process, which could result in radiotherapy treatment leaving Cornwall. Thousands of frustrated and despairing people have hit out at the consultation, which could see patients having to travel to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, Devon for their radiotherapy treatment, rather than receiving treatment more locally at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Treliske, Truro.
The Protect Cancer Care in Cornwall campaign has already received support from over 5,200 people to keep radiotherapy treatment in Cornwall. The campaign finds the proposals “without merit”. “Many cancer patients will have to travel much further for treatment every day for a number of weeks,” reads the petition, set up by Michelle Brown on behalf of 38 Degrees St Ives Branch and the Cornwall Cancer Team. “This will be detrimental to their recovery and it is doubtful that all sick patients will even undertake such a venture and may instead opt for a more detrimental treatment or even no formal treatment at all. More people will die as a result.”
Rose Woodward, from the KCSN and a Cornwall resident said: “Yet again cancer patients in Cornwall are faced with the withdrawal of vital local services. If you told cancer patients in London they would have to travel to Dover or Northampton for their treatment there would be an outcry, but cancer patients in Cornwall will be faced with travelling to Plymouth if these plans go ahead. We need your support, please do everything you can and keep cancer care in Cornwall now and for future generations.”