WORCESTER’S MP has said he is delighted the county finally has its own oncology centre as he marked its opening by planting a pear tree.
Robin Walker spent last Thursday (February 19) at Worcestershire Royal Hospital where the new centre is based, meeting with doctors, nurses, volunteers and other hospital staff.
He then planted a Worcestershire Black Pear Tree to celebrate the completion of the £24million centre which started treating patients last month.
Mr Walker has been a long time supporter of making sure more cancer services are provided closer to people’s homes.
The Worcestershire Oncology Centre means people now don’t have to travel to Cheltenham or Birmingham for radiotherapy treatments.
Following his hospital visit, Mr Walker met with the South Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Group to discuss how the local health system can invest further to support elderly patients and provide more capacity and support both for both cancer care and emergency care.
“Having campaigned for many years for radiotherapy services to come to Worcester I am delighted to see that they now have and I want to congratulate everyone who has been involved in achieving this,” he said.
“In particular I want to thank Paul Crawford, a head and neck cancer patient who first alerted me to the need to bring more treatments in county and campaigned tirelessly, first to protect the service that had saved his life and then to enhance it with cutting edge radiotherapy on the same site.
“It was an honour to be able to plant a Worcestershire pear tree at the site of what will be a fantastic addition to our County’s NHS.”
Mr Walker, who also took a tour of the hospital’s accident and emergency department, added he was humbled by the dedication of the staff who worked under increasing pressure.
“Our NHS has faced some massive challenges in recent years with rising demand and great pressure on acute services as a result of an ageing population and more people living with complex conditions,” he said.
“Staff at Worcestershire Royal Hospital have done an incredible job in meeting those challenges and I keep hearing from constituents about the high quality of care that they have received there.
“It was a pleasure to be able to speak to more patients today and to spend time with some of the frontline staff who make such a huge contribution.”