Page last updated at 12:23 GMT, Thursday, 20 August 2009 13:23 UK

Campaign for a new dialysis unit

A woman from Banbury is campaigning to get a dialysis machine installed at the town's Horton hospital.

For the last 15 years, Miranda Berry's husband has had to travel a 50 mile (80km) round trip to the Churchill hospital in Oxford.

Steven Berry needs dialysis three times a week and wants to be treated closer to home.

But Oxfordshire Primary Care Trust said there was an insufficient number of patients to justify a unit in Banbury.

There are approximately 16 patients from north Oxfordshire who travel 25 miles (40km) each way to Oxford for their dialysis treatment each week.

Mr Berry, who has four hours of dialysis every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, said: "It's really starting to get to me, 25 miles there and back, it's ridiculous."

'Being stubborn'

Mr Berry's wife, Miranda, has sent petitions to their local MP, Tony Baldry, the chief executive of Oxfordshire Primary Care Trust and to the Health Secretary Andy Burnham.

"We've got a wonderful hospital in Banbury, it's about a 10 minute walk for Steven."

She added: "The PCT is being stubborn, there are about 16 patients from the Banbury area needing treatment, but they still won't consider setting up a unit here."

Dialysis units cost approximately £2m. Oxfordshire Primary Care Trust said it would need to ensure there were sufficient patients to support the need for a unit.

A spokesperson from the PCT said: "Ideally we would want patients to be treated as near to their homes as possible.

"However, the specialist nature of dialysis units and the need to ensure best use of staff and specialist equipment means it is difficult to provide care in multiple smaller units across the county.

"The demands on the PCT's funds for the healthcare of all our residents are such that we have to make sure we get greatest health benefit from the financial resources available."

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