Cumbria breast cancer patients still forced to travel

Patients with breast cancer in south Cumbria will still have to travel long distances to receive treatment, a health trust has said.

Patients are currently having to make a 100-mile round trip from Barrow to Lancaster because of a shortage of consultants and radiologists.

It was hoped breast cancer diagnosis would be moved back to Barrow, where the treatment was previously.

But University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust said it was not possible.

'High standard'

At the county council's health scrutiny committee on Tuesday it was made clear the shortage of specialists still remained.

People opposing the decision said it was no way to treat people with cancer.

Socialist People's party representative Jim Hamzeian said it should be made easier for patients.

But Steven Vaughan, from the trust, said despite the distance patients had to travel, the standard of service they received was high.

The committee chairman Bill Wearing said there was a national shortage of radiologists and had asked if they could be recruited from outside the UK.

He said: "I have also asked the lead GP in Barrow to come to us and explain what he feels he needs in the Barrow area as well."

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