Moving radiotherapy services almost 60 miles away "will kill people" according to a former nurse.

Sue Roberts from Truro, who spent her career in hospitals, described the proposal to centralise care away from Truro's Royal Cornwall Hospital to Derriford in Plymouth as "inhuman."

Mrs Roberts said: "It will kill people, no two ways about it. It's inhuman; it's cruel. It just can't happen."

She is now urging every single person, whether they have experience in using the facilities or not.

Mrs Roberts said such a move would mean patients having to travel to Plymouth six days a week, for six weeks, to receive treatment.

Currently this is offered in Truro, which in itself is an hour's drive away from areas in West Cornwall such as Newlyn or The Lizard.

"Can you imagine in the summer? It doesn't bear thinking about.

"A lot of people don't realise the affect this will have on their loved ones, or God forbid themselves," she added.

An eight-week consultation by NHS England has been extended for another month, to January 24, to give as many people as possible to give their views.

This can be done via an online survey at, by emailing or by writing to Radiotherapy Consultation, NHS England, Floor 3B, Skipton House, 80 London Road, London, SE1 6LH.

NHS England has said that radiotherapy is a core part of modern cancer treatment, explaining: "It can cure cancers, can assist in alleviating symptoms and is cost effective. It is second only to surgery in its effectiveness in treating cancer and around 40 per cent of patients who are cured receive radiotherapy as part of or the whole of their treatment."

The development of the proposed changes sits alongside NHS England’s £130 million investment in radiotherapy equipment, which was announced last year and is aimed at delivering the vision for radiotherapy services.

The body said that it had been developed by talking to doctors, nurses, radiographers and public and patient engagement groups, as well as through stakeholder engagement last year.