WORCESTER MP Robin Walker is throwing his weight behind a campaign for a radiotherapy unit in the county.

Patients currently have to travel to radiotherapy centres in Cheltenham and Wolverhamp-ton, but there are plans to have a satellite unit Worcestershire.

The move will reduce travelling costs and inconvenience for patients at what can be a very stressful time for them and their families. Mr Walker voiced his support for action on radiotherapy at an awareness-raising Cancer Research UK event in Parliament last week.

He heard how radiotherapy has a bigger impact on curing cancers each year than all the new drugs put together.

The event coincided with the Government’s launch of the National Radiotherapy Aware-ness Initiative to improve the public’s understanding of the importance of radiotherapy.

Mr Walker heard experts describe how a lack of awareness about radiotherapy’s importance is having a serious impact on providing world class treatment in the UK. He also attended a briefing with ministers on progress with the cancer drugs fund.

He was told that the delivery of radiotherapy services differs around the country, partly due to the number of machines available and the amount of trained staff needed to deliver this complex service.

Worcestershire’s own radiotherapy unit could be built at either the Worcestershire Royal Hospital in Worcester or Alexandra Hospital in Redditch.

Mr Walker welcomed news from the local NHS that further progress has been made on this. He said: “Only 14 per cent of people in the UK are aware that half of all cancer patients could benefit from radiotherapy. I want everyone with cancer in Worc-ester to access world class radiotherapy when they need it.”

Worcestershire Acute Hosp-itals NHS Trust is expected to announce the partner for providing radiotherapy in the county at the end of this week after the bid was put out to tender.

If all goes to plan, the county should have a satellite radiotherapy unit by April 2013.