Health Minister Alan Milburn has praised the Northants Evening Telegraph and its readers for helping make a change to cancer care services.
He made the comments as he opened the new £650,000 Centenary Wing at Kettering General Hospital, which was paid for with money raised by readers of the newspaper.
He said: “I want to thank the Evening Telegraph and its readers for all the work they have done. It has made a real difference.
“What you are doing and what we are trying to do is bring about a dramatic improvement in cancer services.”
The newspaper joined forces with the hospital in 1996 to raise the money to build a dedicated cancer care unit.
It took only two years for readers to raise the £650,000 needed and the creation of the cancer care unit has ended the need for some patients to travel to Northampton for treatment.
Appeal chairman Patricia Perkins said: “We are absolutely thrilled. This is the fulfillment of our dreams. We’ve achieved everything we set out to do but we couldn’t possibly have achieved this without the support of the Evening Telegraph.
“The money is still coming in. We have more than £900,000 and every penny is going to the unit. It will go from strength to strength.”
Alan Milburn officially opened the unit, which received its first patients last June, and then he toured the hospital taking time to talk to staff and patients.
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