Wonderful Day for Cancer Patients


Wonderful Day for Cancer Patients

Health Minister Edwin Poots’ decision to proceed with the Radiotherapy Unit at Altnagelvin Hospital was greeted by understandable celebration in the Western Trust.


Western Trust Chairman, Gerard Guckian, welcomed the news stating: “This is a wonderful day for cancer patients in Northern Ireland and Donegal. I am delighted with the announcement as I have no doubt that this new service will transform patients’ lives. When they are at their most vulnerable, cancer patients should not have the added burden of a lengthy uncomfortable journey to receive radiotherapy. Having a Unit in the North West will result in a better quality of service and better outcomes for patients.”


Mr Guckian continued: “It is fantastic to reach this important milestone, particularly at a time when Altnagelvin enters its second half century of service to the community.”

Mr Guckian concluded by expressing his thanks to all those who contributed to this positive decision: “I would like to thank Minister Poots for making this decision, and for making it so early in his period in office. I believe that after speaking to staff and in particular patients, the Minister recognized that the sooner this Unit can be put on the ground the sooner patients’ lives can be enhanced and indeed saved. I also want to acknowledge the Patients’ Groups, north and south of the border, for their unstinting efforts. They helped tremendously in getting what was already a compelling case over the line. Finally, I want to thank all our public representatives from right across the parties who gave us their backing and also the Minister for Health and his officials in the Republic of Ireland for their continued support throughout the process.”

Chief Executive Elaine Way said that she was absolutely delighted by the Minister’s decision. “Within the Western Trust so many people have contributed to build the case for this project and they have been greatly assisted by colleagues within the Health and Social Care Board and Health Estates at the Department of Health. This has been an issue that has touched people in an extraordinary way and I want to express my gratitude to every single person who has given us their support. ”


She said: “The Radiotherapy Unit at Altnagelvin will be a hospital within the hospital and is without doubt a most important development in Altnagelvin’s history.”

Underlining her personal commitment to the Unit, she concluded, “We will now work closely with our health colleagues north and south of the border to complete this essential project at the earliest possible date. We have a track record of delivering major capital projects on time and within budget and I will be doing everything to ensure that the Radiotherapy Unit will be no exception.”