NEW cancer treatment facilities will open in Fleetwood in the New Year.
Initially, the vital care will be in place as part of a 12-month trial period for the services, which is expected to be available at the town’s new £12m health centre nearing completion on Dock Street.
The new cancer treatment equipment in Fleetwood has been made possible because the Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust made a successful £90,000 bid to the Rosemere Cancer Foundation charity, which helps to generate funds for cancer treatment across Lancashire and Cumbria.
The trust contacted Rosemere after liaising with Fleetwood Commissioning Group, GPs and community leaders.
Andrea Doherty, the lead cancer nurse at the hospital’s trust, said: “If you’re feeling ill and have to travel to Blackpool for chemotherapy, it can be tough going.
“Being able to have the procedure at Fleetwood should make things easier for people in the town.
“Fleetwood residents will have a choice – either have the treatment at Fleetwood or at Blackpool Victoria.
“It is a 12 month trial and if the take-up is slow, we will not look to continue with it after the first year.”
New heart-testing procedures are already in place in Fleetwood after lobbying by the commissioning group.
Fleetwood Commissioning Group chairman Dr Mark Spencer added: “As in the case of the new heart testing procedures available at people’s Fleetwood GPs, we are now able to determine what services we can bring in.
“Being able to provide this treatment at Fleetwood will be hugely beneficial to patients and their families.”
Coun Bill Barrow a member of the group, which controls health budgets for the port, said the new cancer equipment would be online sometime between mid-February and early March.
The idea behind commissioning groups is that they are designed to control cash flow for services as part of central Government’s NHS shake-up.
And Coun Barrow said the Fleetwood group was likely to merge with a larger body in the near future to ensure it gets the best deals for the port.
He added: “The Fleetwood Commissioning Group is too small to warrant legal status and is likely to be integrated as part of a Fylde and Wyre Group.
“But there will still be autonomy in respect of Fleetwood issues.”