Return of Barrow breast cancer diagnosis delayed

An MP has called for assurances there will be no further delays in the return of breast cancer diagnosis to a Cumbrian hospital.

For the last two years patients have had to travel from Barrow to Lancaster for tests because of a shortage of staff at Furness General Hospital.

A new breast clinic had been due to start in February but will now not start until April.

Barrow Labour MP John Woodcock said he was worried the deadline had slipped.

In a statement, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust said work to improve the breast unit at Furness General Hospital would be starting shortly.

'Extra worry'

It said: "This work will extend the unit to accommodate two X-ray rooms and two ultrasound rooms which are necessary to facilitate the reinstatement of the symptomatic breast clinic at FGH.

"We plan for this building work to be completed by the end of March and anticipate that the clinics will start in April."

Mr Woodcock said: "That 100-mile round trip has caused extra worry for women and I have been pressing hospital bosses to reinstate the service at Furness General.

"Everyone will be relieved when the trust delivers on its promise, but it is worrying that the original deadline of February has slipped back to April."

He said assurances were needed that there would be "no further backsliding".

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