BUILDING work has started on a new radiotherapy centre in Swindon which is expected to save 13,000 journeys to Oxford for treatment each year.

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH) announced its project, which was delayed due to coronavirus, started at the Great Western Hospital on Monday,

It is hoped the new centre will still be able to be completed by the end of next, though the trust said any second wave could delay this.

Sam Foster, chief nursing officer at OUH said: “The difference this new facility will make to local cancer patients and their families is so important.

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"The reduction in travel time means less stress and anxiety and more time to do other things. I am so pleased we are finally able to start work. I look forward to tracking the progress.”

It is estimated that the new centre will save more than 13,000 journeys to Oxford every year.

The OUH Swindon Radiotherapy Centre is an expansion of the trust's radiotherapy service, currently provided solely from the Churchill Hospital in Oxford.

The trust has invested £18.4m in the project and local people have donated £2.9 m towards the specialist equipment needed.