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Last Updated: Friday, 1 February 2008, 14:12 GMT
Plans to build 30m cancer centre
A radiotherapy suite
The new suites will cut travelling time for patients
Cancer care in Merseyside is to get a 30m cash boost to build a new treatment centre in Liverpool.

The money comes from Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology and the Merseyside and Cheshire Cancer Network.

Specialist cancer services are provided at Clatterbridge Hospital in Wirral but a radiotherapy centre is to be built at Fazakerley Hospital in Aintree.

It is hoped patients will benefit from travelling shorter distances for treatment and reduced waiting times.

Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology serves a population of 2.3m covering Merseyside, Cheshire, the Isle of Man and South Lancashire and carries out 110,000 treatments a year.

The proposals are being backed by cancer fundraiser Marina Dalglish, wife of the former Liverpool player and manager Kenny Dalglish. It is hoped to be on site in 2010.

Long car journeys aren't ideal or comfortable for anyone with cancer. This development is great news

The first stage of the investment will see a new 15m cancer treatment facility in Aintree.

The primary care trusts have also agreed in principle to fund a further 15m for three radiotherapy machines.

The preferred site for these is in the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, which would link with proposals to develop a cancer research centre there.

It is also hoped radiotherapy will be made available at Walton Neurological Centre for patients with brain tumours.

Ray Murphy, a patient representative on the Merseyside and Cheshire Cancer Network Taskforce that advises PCTs, said: "When attending a radiotherapy appointment every day for up to six weeks, the time spent by some patients travelling to and from Clatterbridge mounts up significantly.

"Long car journeys aren't ideal or comfortable for anyone with cancer. This development is great news as reduced journey times will limit any stress for patients."

Chief Executive at Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology Darren Hurrell said: This is a major investment by our hospital for the benefit of the people of Merseyside and Cheshire.

"These plans will also mean improved accessibility and better waiting times for treatment at Clatterbridge for the people of Cheshire and Wirral."



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