MP TIM Farron has chaired the second part of a major parliamentary inquiry into the availability of radiotherapy services across the UK.

In the session he and other MP colleagues pressed senior NHS managers responsible for national commissioning of radiotherapy.

They pushed for answers on a whole range of aspects from the overall availability of this vital treatment, to the age of radiotherapy equipment, to staff training and the importance of satellite units to allow patients to access treatment closer to home.

NHS England bosses said that there was a case for satellite units and invited business cases to be brought forward to be made for specific sites.

Mr Farron said: “Many experts in the field believe as many as 24,000 people across the UK may not be getting the radiotherapy they need and my concern is that many of these may be in areas like ours that are predominantly rural. "Based on this 24,000-national figure, as many as 177 people in Cumbria could be missing out. "