Why NHS England’s proposed changes to radiotherapy fall short

NHS England’s Modernising Radiotherapy consultation looks to centralise ‘specialist services’ for ‘rare and uncommon cancers’, whilst ‘common cancers’ will be treated at local centres. In this article, Mark Lomax, General Manager of Genesis Care UK, supports the need to expand access to radiotherapy, and highlights how their Smart Planning Technology could benefit all who have cancer.
Genesis Care UK

3 Responses to “Why NHS England’s proposed changes to radiotherapy fall short”

  1. John Gooderham

    Genesis Care is an important player in the UK now, providing radiotherapy to private patients and to NHS patients where the NHS has insufficient capacity. For example, here in West Sussex there are no radiotherapy facilities – NHS or private – and some radiotherapy patients are sent to the Genesis unit in Havant, Hampshire. But that is a long way to go for many of them.

    The population of West Sussex is about 843,000 with a high proportion of elderly people, and some 500,000 of them live in Coastal West Sussex/Western Sussex Hospitals area. The number of new cancer patients in CWS/WSHFT’s catchment requiring radiotherapy would require 3.2 linacs (according to the University of Mancheter’s Dept of Cancer Sciences). My understanding is that a 3 linac unit is the size needed to be commercially viable for Genesis (though Genesis does operate single linac sites in the UK and 2 linac sites in Australia, eg at Bunbury, WA.

    With the radiotherapy system planning as described by Genesis, such a unit does not have to be on the site of a general hospital, and Genesis should investigate the possibility of providing a unit in West Sussex, at location such as Arundel or Pulborough, both of which would serve all of CWS/WSHFT’s catchment within 45 minutes travel time, and both of which have sites available adjacent to community health locations.

    If the NHS continues to fail to commission/provide radiotherapy in West Sussex, 12 years after all the then local NHS bodies acknowledged the need for such facilities, Genesis should do so. NHS England would then be obliged to contract with them, as patients would want to use their facilities, and have freedom of choice.

    Cancer patients always having to travel outside the county – the only one in England without radiotherapy facilities – is nothing short of scandalous

  2. GenesisCare

    Thank-you so much for your comment, Mr Gooderham – we totally understand your frustration and agree with your comments. Indeed, GenesisCare has investigated the possibility of installing a LINAC in Sussex many times over the last few years but for various reasons, it hasn’t come to fruition.

    If you would like to discuss this further, please feel free to contact us.

    • John Gooderham

      Many thanks for getting in touch; Mark and I have now spoken on the phone.