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By Geoff Berkeley 08/06 Updated: 08/06 11:08
CANCER sufferers in the Vale will soon have the chance to access treatment closer to home after plans to build the county’s first ever radiotherapy unit cleared the final hurdle.
Work to build the unit at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital is set to begin later this year after councillors voted to approve the remaining details surrounding the layout and size of the building, which was first given the green light last year.
At a meeting last Thursday (May 31) members of Worcester's planning committee backed the new centre, which will be situated next to the hospital's accident and emergency unit.
The project includes the creation of a 401-space car park on land next to the hospital, increasing the overall number of spaces for patients, visitors and staff to 1,470.
Coun Roger Berry welcomed the introduction of the unit and said it was a step in the right direction.
"I think it’s in the long-term interests for patients," he said.
"The fact people won't have to be travelling to Coventry and Cheltenham should be welcomed.
"This is a sign they have taken on people's concerns and is a step in the right direction."
The new unit will mean cancer sufferers no longer have to travel as far afield as Cheltenham or Wolverhampton to receive treatment, saving county patients an estimated one million miles of travel every year.
Adel Makar, consultant urologist and lead cancer clinician for Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust, said: "Since we secured outline planning permission for our new radiotherapy centre in January, we have been working hard on the design of the new building, and we are delighted that our proposals have now been endorsed by the city council.
"This is another key milestone in our plans to create a world-class, state-of-the-art facility that the people of Worcestershire can be proud of for a long time to come."
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