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Charity appeal to bring vital cancer treatment to Wiltshire

284 balloons were released - the number of patients diagnosed with cancer at the hospital each month. Credit: ITV News

Cancer patients forced to make a 70-mile round trip for radiotherapy treatment have welcomed a campaign to build a facility closer to home.

Great Western Hospital in Swindon has launched an appeal to raise £2.9 million for a radiotherapy centre, so that thousands of patients no longer have to make the long trek to Oxford for up to seven weeks of treatment.

With support from the public and final approval, it is hoped that the centre will be open by the end of 2017.

The appeal was launched at Great Western Hospital today, with 284 balloons released to mark the number of patients diagnosed with cancer there each month.

Brighter Futures, the Great Western Hospitals Trust charity organising the appeal, hope to inspire local people to get involved in fundraising events.

Artist's impression of what the radiotherapy centre would look like. Credit: Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Bringing radiotherapy treatment to Swindon will make such a difference to local patients and their families, friends and carers and will be an excellent addition to the facilities already available at GWH.

We are working closely with our colleagues at Oxford to make this vision a reality and I am sure that local people will get behind the fundraising appeal.

– Dr Guy Rooney, Medical Director, Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Hospital ordered to clean up

The Great Western Hospital in Swindon has been told it must improve staffing levels. It has also been ordered to improve cleanliness and infection control, and how it monitors the quality of its service.

It follows an inspection by the Care Quality Commission which found that some wards caring for frail, older people and the Day Surgery Unit did not always have enough experienced and skilled nursing staff on duty.

An inspection by the CQC found wards did not always have enough skilled nurses Credit: ITV News West Country

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