Cancer patients forced onto long care treks by ‘cruel’ NHS

Forcing cancer patients to travel for two to three hours daily for up to seven weeks to receive routine treatment is “frankly cruel” and “more like Third World care”, doctors and politicians have warned. Pat Price, a professor at Imperial College London and chairwoman of Action Radiotherapy, a charity working to improve treatment, said: “This is so sad when the technology is our there to have remote satellite centres safely giving treatment.” About 50% of cancer patients need radiotherapy. Tim Farron, the MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, has a bill going through parliament to set a maximum time of 45 minutes for patients to travel to receive radiotherapy. This time limit was recommended by the National Radiotherapy Advisory Group in 20017 but has never been implemented.
The Times

One Response to “Cancer patients forced onto long care treks by ‘cruel’ NHS”

  1. John Gooderham

    Pat and Tim describe the position accurately. The Sunday Times has summarised the issue reasonably. But the comment by ‘the NHS’ is deplorably misleading, nothing less that a travesty. To say ‘The 45 minute recommendation was based on estimated demand which has not materialised’ is wrong on 2 counts: Not only was the national guideline seen as a realistic target 11 years ago, but that has been repeated several times since. Only now are there misguided proposals to drop the 45 minutes rule, which are vigorously opposed, but also in many – not all – parts of the country demand has outstripped sometimes non-existent capacity. And to say that local NHS bodies are making their own decisions is ingenuous: central diktats will continue to influence matters – with the national consultation proposing even larger networks of alliances, neither of which can be described as local. And of course CCGs do not have any responsibility for radiotherapy services, which are within the remit of NHS England’s Specialised Commissioning teams.