Balloons take flight as campaign to bring vital cancer treatment closer to home is launched in Swindon
A release of nearly 300 coloured balloons kicked off a £2.9 million fundraising appeal to bring radiotherapy treatment to the Great Western Hospital in Swindon yesterday.
The appeal by Brighter Futures, Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s charity, will fund two linear accelerators, which will deliver the treatment provided by Oxford University Hospitals Trust (OUH) in a new radiotherapy centre.
Currently around 3,000 people are diagnosed with some form of cancer each year at GWH. In 2013/14 around 700 patients made the 70 mile round-trip to OUH’s Churchill Hospital in Oxford for radiotherapy. Treatment usually lasts for four to seven weeks, made up of daily visits.
Richard Deacon of
Deacons Jewellers adds
his support to the campaign
Plans in advanced stages
While the expansion of the OUH service is subject to a final approval process, the planning stages are well advanced and it is envisaged that treatment could be available locally by the end of 2017.
Dr Guy Rooney, Medical Director, Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Bringing radiotherapy treatment to Swindon will make such a difference to local patients and their families, friends and carers and will be an excellent addition to the facilities already available at GWH.
We are working closely with our colleagues at Oxford to make this vision a reality and I am sure that local people will get behind the fundraising appeal.”
Fundraising events planned
Jen Green, Head of Fundraising, Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, commented: “Over the next two years there will be lots of ways to get involved including different events. I am sure participants will also come up with wild and wacky ways of generating money for this worthy appeal.”