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August 21, 2020

From The Times Saturday 22nd 2020’


More than 100 MPs have written to Boris Johnson after the coronavirus lockdown caused severe disruption to cancer diagnoses and treatments. They have called on him to deliver an emergency boost to treatment capacity.


One senior oncologist has claimed that in a worst-case scenario the effects of the pandemic could result in 30,000 excess cancer deaths over the next decade.


In the letter, seen by The Times, the MPs write: “We urge you to work with your ministers to ensure that the NHS reacts more quickly to restore cancer services that have been badly disrupted due to the response to Covid.

“We are particularly concerned that the NHS’s plan appears to be limited to getting cancer services back to normal by the end of the year [but] this timescale is far too long. Many cancers can become untreatable in a matter of weeks.”

The signatories include Dan Poulter, a former health minister, Sir Ed Davey, a former energy secretary, and Sir Oliver Heald, a former solicitor-general.

Research predicts that people are more likely to die from cancer now than 15 years ago due to the effects of the pandemic. The Institute for Public Policy Research estimates that for lung cancer, five-year survival rates stand to drop from 16.2 per cent to 15.4 per cent, breast cancer from 85 per cent to 83.5 per cent, and colorectal cancer from 58.4 per cent to 56.1 per cent.



Separate figures from the Cancer Research UK charity indicate that in the 18 weeks since March 23 about three million people missed out on vital screenings for bowel, breast and cervical cancer. In the same period about 315,000 fewer people than normal received an urgent suspected cancer referral and overall there were 38,000 fewer treatments.

Karol Sikora, a senior oncologist and co-founder of Rutherford Health, a private cancer treatment company, suggested that there could be up to 30,000 excess cancer deaths in the next ten years. He cited a study published last month in the journal Lancet Oncology, looking at the decline during lockdown in urgent cancer referrals by GPs. It calculated a worst-case scenario where an average six-month delay in these referrals would lead to nearly 9,300 excess deaths in the next decade.


He conceded that his estimate was high compared with others. However, according to the study, if every urgent GP referral was delayed by just one month about 1,400 extra deaths would result. “Some estimates say a few thousand cancer patient lives could be lost. I think you can easily multiply that by ten,” Professor Sikora said. “It’s far worse than people appreciate.”

Mark Lawler, a cancer specialist at Queen’s University Belfast tracking the impact of Covid-19 disruptions, predicts between about 7,000 and 18,000 early deaths in the next ten years as a “reasonable scenario”. A worst-case scenario estimated about 35,000.


“I don’t think just returning to pre-Covid levels is sufficient, I think we need to be operating at at least 130 per cent rather than getting back to 100 per cent,” he said.

Cancer Research UK presented the government with a recovery plan in June but has not received any feedback.

The most recent letter to the prime minister, co-ordinated by the charity Action Radiotherapy, argues that smart and cost-effective solutions should be adopted to quickly respond to the crisis. Pat Price, the charity chairwoman, said: “This is the biggest crisis in cancer services in my lifetime. We need a dramatic intervention from the government, or we will lose thousands of lives unnecessarily.”

The all-party parliamentary group for radiotherapy has produced a plan to tackle the cancer backlog, that includes access to vital machinery, creating a national taskforce and increasing the radiotherapy workforce. Tim Farron, the former leader of the Liberal Democrats and chairman of the APPG, said: “A catastrophic cancer crisis is unfolding right now. It is not enough to get services back up and running by the end of the year.”

The most recent NHS data from June shows that urgent cancer referrals dropped by a fifth compared with June last year; breast cancer referrals dropped by 43 per cent.

Sarah Woolnough, Cancer Research UK’s executive director of policy and information, said: “The government must ensure that the NHS gets the investment it needs.”

This month Mr Johnson announced that NHS trusts across England would receive £300 million to upgrade A&E facilities as part of £1.5 billion capital building allocation set out in June.

Case studies


Beth Purvis, 41, had surgery cancelled and has been told she is incurable

Beth Purvis will never know if surgery scheduled for March would have stopped her cancer from reaching her brain (Katie Gibbons writes).

Ms Purvis, 41, of Essex, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in October 2016 but it spread to her lungs. She was due to have surgery to remove a lung nodule when the country locked down. The operation was cancelled and Ms Purvis did not learn until May that the cancer had reached her brain. It is incurable.

“I completely understand why it was cancelled. When I found out it had spread to my brain I was devastated,” she said. “I have two children, Joseph aged ten and Abigail who is 12. We tell them everything, so that was a difficult conversation. There will always be a big ‘what if’ about whether that cancelled surgery could have given me more time.”

John Anderson has watched with frustration as his brother Alan’s condition worsens due to a lack of proper treatment. “He has battled bladder cancer for the past 18 months or so and was well into his treatment,” Mr Anderson, 72, said. His programme fell apart when lockdown started.

Alan went into a hospice in Luton eight weeks ago. “Of course he was very ill but we know he would have had a chance — now he is under palliative care and very, very ill,” his brother said. “He is in excruciating pain as the cancer is now in his spine. The doctors have told him there’s nothing more they can do.

“We think if he’d got the treatment when he should have then it might have extended his life. My view of the NHS is, at this time, not the same as all the ‘clappers’. I am watching my brother in pain.”

Beth Pattison, 27, died in June, leaving behind her five-year-old son Finn, after her cancer was dismissed as coronavirus by a GP. Ms Pattison had already beaten breast cancer twice but when she developed a cough and fever she had concerns. She called her GP in March and was told it was probably Covid-19.

Beth Pattison, 27, died after her cancer was dismissed as Covid-19; she left behind her five-year-old son, Finn


In May she was taken to A&E by her father but was assessed only for Covid-19, tested negative and was sent home.

A month later she died; her cancer had returned and spread to her ovaries.

Her father, Craig, hopes others will avoid her fate. “They weren’t looking for anything else; they were focused on Covid and pneumonia,” he said. “Beth asked repeatedly whether the cancer could be back and each time they decided not to test her. She’s left behind a five-year-old boy and our lives are going to be devoted to him now.”

May 02, 2020

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Radiotherapy responds to NHS England’s comments at the Health and Social Care Committee

Press Release


Date: Immediate Release 3rd May 2020



Peter Carroll 07866 800 755

Daniel Laing 07983 472 541



The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Radiotherapy responds to NHS England’s comments at the Health and Social Care Committee


The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Radiotherapy have reacted with concern following answers given by NHS England’s National Cancer Director, Dame Cally Palmer, at the Health and Social Care Committee, which appear out of step with the evidence of a mini-inquiry run by the APPG this week. In response APPG RT Chair, Tim Farron MP and Vice-Chair, Grahame Morris, have written to Sir Simon Stevens, Chief Executive, NHS England, to call for an urgent virtual meeting to discuss the findings and set out how boosting radiotherapy services is an unmissable opportunity for the NHS to prevent avoidable cancer deaths during Covid-19.


Evidence published by the APPG RT found that radiotherapy services are being limited, delayed and cancelled, despite being the best cancer fighting weapon available during Covid-19. Due to not requiring an Intensive Care Unit, like surgery, and not impacting the immune system, like chemotherapy. Experts agree that the UK could see more cancer deaths, as a result of the understandable actions to prevent Covid-19, than we save from the virus. However, what has not been discussed is that radiotherapy, has the potential to mitigate these so called ‘collateral’ cancer deaths. The APPG RT conclude that it is imperative that the NHS take into account evidence they have published this week which when set against the comments today will be of great concern to clinicians and patients.


Tim Farron, Chair of the APPG RT said:, “We were concerned before today’s Health Committee session that the Government and NHS were not aware of the severity of the situation and potential solutions offered by cancer experts. However, following today’s comments we must conclude this is certainly the case and have asked NHS leadership to meet with us to discuss our findings. It is more important than ever that our radiotherapy services are operating at full capacity”


Professor Pat Price, Chair of Action Radiotherapy said, “We have great respect for Dame Cally, but cannot agree that radiotherapy is operating at near to normal levels. The NHS appear unaware of much of our evidence and so it is essential that we come together to find a solution that will safeguard services during Covid-19 and prevent collateral cancer deaths”.



All Party Parliamentary Group for Radiotherapy

April 29, 2020

Press Release: APPG RT publishes mini-inquiry into the impacts of COVID-19 on cancer services

Press Release


Date : Immediate Release 30th April 2020

Contacts :

Peter Carroll 07866 800 755

Daniel Laing 07983 472 541

APPG RT publishes mini-inquiry into the impacts of COVID-19 on cancer services


A mini inquiry published by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Radiotherapy today, has found that despite radiotherapy offering potential to prevent avoidable cancer deaths, services are being limited, delayed and cancelled.  The findings, which have been presented to the Health Select Committee, found that unless urgent and co-ordinated action is taken by the Government, in the form of a National Taskforce, the UK will lose more lives from cancer, as a result of the understandable focus on Covid-19, than we are able to save from the virus.


Radiotherapy is needed by 1 in 4 of us at some point in our lives and is necessary in 4 out of 10 cancer cures. While surgical options for cancer treatment are decreased, because of Intensive Care capacity, and chemotherapy reduced due to impacts on the immune system, radiotherapy provides an option to prevent avoidable cancer deaths without detracting from the overall Covid-19 effort.  However, despite radiotherapy being one of the safest cancer treatments at this time, the inquiry has found services are being constrained and limited.


A flash survey of radiotherapy demonstrated a concerning lack of full and appropriate PPE, delays and disruptions to treatments and a failure to fully utilise capacity of advanced radiotherapy machines.


A full analysis of the survey and mini-inquiry can be found here:


The survey findings include:

  • Only 31% of front-line staff felt they had access to full and appropriate levels of PPE


  • 61% reported between 21-60% of patients had their radiotherapy treatment disrupted and 65% of responders were concerned or extremely concerned.


  • 36% were not able to introduce advanced radiotherapy with SABR to shorten treatment and 24% reported poor or very poor IT.


  • Unused machine capacity has increased 5- fold, with some centres reporting 6 hours per day spare machine


  • 97% of respondents said that at least some prostate radiotherapy was cancelled, the average was 56% of patients cancelled, 3% said 0 cancellations and 20% said 100%. The time delay being planned ranged from 2-6 months


  • 24% felt radiotherapy services were severely undervalued and 41% undervalued by senior policy makers in Government and the NHS


  • 38% felt that the Government had no understanding of the effect of the current situation in radiotherapy on cancer patients and 51% no understanding on the effect on the radiotherapy workforce

April 29, 2020

The Times - Coronavirus: Cancer patients at risk as radiotherapy machines stand idle

Cancer patients are facing up to six months in treatment delays as vital radiotherapy is cancelled despite some hospital machines sitting unused for hours each day.

Results from a rapid inquiry into radiotherapy cancer treatment during the Covid-19 pandemic reveals that half of all clinicians have had to delay treatment but have the capacity to carry out vital care.

It is predicted that the outbreak could result in 18,000 extra cancer deaths due to treatment delays and experts argue that an opportunity is being missed to avoid “collateral cancer deaths” by not prioritising radiotherapy.


Results of the inquiry will be presented to ministers tomorrow.

Radiotherapy treatment is needed in half of all cancer cases and is used in a quarter of cases where cancer is cured. It leaves patients less vulnerable to Covid-19 than chemotherapy and surgery. However, it is often seen as a Cinderella service and was suffering from financial and technological underinvestment before the pandemic.

A survey of clinicians carried out by the all-party parliamentary group (APPG) of MPs for radiotherapy and the charity Action Radiotherapy found that 50 per cent reported that two thirds of patients had had their radiotherapy treatment disrupted because of the coronavirus crisis.

Unused machine capacity has increased five fold with some centres now reporting six hours of spare machine time a day. Prostate cancer treatment makes up about a third of the workload of most radiotherapy departments. Now 56 per cent of these patients have seen their treatment delayed by up to six months.

The survey of 341 radiotherapy professionals also uncovered huge concerns in the lack of personal protective equipment for frontline staff and 76 per cent felt they would contract or pass on Covid-19 because of this.

An anonymous clinician said: “We are a highly at-risk group. Our faces are super close to the patient’s. We have to lean our entire body into them to move them contaminating our uniform, yet we’ve been told we are not allowed long-sleeve gowns."

Another added: “The street cleaners in China, who are spraying the streets with disinfectant have better PPE than I do.”

On March 28 the National Institute of Clinical Excellence issued rapid guidelines on how radiotherapy should be delivered during the pandemic. It ranked patients in a priority of 1 to 5 and many treatments were stopped, leaving radiotherapy departments empty and machines unused.

Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrat MP and chairman of the APPG, said, “A double disaster is looming in which we stand to lose as many to cancer as we save from Covid and I fear the secretary of state does not realise there is something he can do about it.

“By boosting radiotherapy, we can massively reduce the number of patients experiencing cancelled, delayed and deferred treatments, and ultimately save lives that would otherwise be lost unnecessarily. The evidence submitted by ourselves to the [health and social care] select committee clearly sets out the problem, and crucially, the solution. I urge him to meet with us to discuss how we can prevent this double tragedy.”

Pat Price, chairwoman of Action Radiotherapy, said: “There are going to be so many extra deaths from conditions other than Covid-19. But it doesn’t have to be as bad as it is on track to be. We need to boost radiotherapy as it can treat patients where other methods are currently high risk.”

April 16, 2020

Press release: Chairs of All Party Parliamentary Groups on Cancer and Radiotherapy Reaction To Matt Hancock’s Comments on Covid/Cancer

Press Release


Date : Immediate Release 17th April 2020



Contacts :

Peter Carroll 07866 800 755

Daniel Laing 07983 472 541



Chairs of All Party Parliamentary Groups on Cancer and Radiotherapy Reaction To Matt Hancock’s Comments on Covid/Cancer


Chairs of All Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs)  focussed on cancer, have responded with extreme concern to the comments raised by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, earlier today when he was challenged over the large number of avoidable cancer deaths that will occur as an inadvertent consequence of the intensity of the overall NHS Covid-19 response.  


Recent research has indicated that a growing number of people could be lost to cancer due their treatments being unnecessarily delayed, deferred or cancelled.  When challenged on this point by Rosie Cooper MP during today’s ‘virtual’ Health and Social Care Select Committee, the Secretary of State failed to engage with, or acknowledge, this problem.  His answers suggested that cancer treatments were being disrupted only when clinically justified due to the higher risk of infection during the pandemic, and that the main concern was that cancer patients weren’t coming forward for treatment at this time.


Tonia Antoniazzi MP, chair of the APPG on Cancer said, ‘Whilst it is true that some cancer treatment is being rightly disrupted because clinicians, in conversation with patients, are making a judgement on whether the treatment is still suitable as it would increase their risk of infection to Covid-19, far too many blanket stoppages of treatment are still occurring. We are talking about a growing number of cancer treatments being disrupted or stopped for a whole range of other Covid related reasons including professionals being deployed away from the cancer frontline. We could be about to see the ‘double tragedy’ of a large loss of life to Covid being followed by further loss of life to cancer.  I implore the Minister to meet with us to outline his plan for ensuring people still get the cancer treatment they need.’ 


Tim Farron MP, chair of the APPG for Radiotherapy, said, ‘A catastrophic cancer crisis is unfolding right now.  I fear that the Secretary of State is being shielded from this information as if he was aware of it, I’m sure that he would act.  The clamour from professionals and experts is getting louder every day.  I urge him to meet with myself and Tonia Antoniazzi as a matter of urgency.  The majority of these so called ‘collateral’ cancer deaths are avoidable.  All it takes is the realisation that they are about to happen and a commitment to some bold simple steps to boost services like radiotherapy.  This is a problem with a solution’.



March 31, 2020

Press release: MPs Demand Urgent Action on PPE and Radiotherapy Capacity to prevent COVID-19 Causing Unnecessary Cancer Deaths

​Press Release


Date : Immediate Release 1st April 2020

Contacts :

Peter Carroll 07866 800 755

Daniel Laing 07983 472 541

MPs have today written to the Secretary of State for Health & Social Care urging him to prioritise the supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for radiotherapy professionals and to take steps to boost radiotherapy capacity to save lives.  In the letter from the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Radiotherapy the MPs set out that they have received reports that ‘patients are now demanding that the clinicians wear PPE’ and expressed concern that ‘… some radiotherapy centres have no PPE and little priority has been given to this work force and patient group….’  . The letter also highlights that the demand for radiotherapy services is rising sharply as surgical options for cancer treatment are reduced due to the Covid-19 response and clinicians are moving some patients away from chemotherapy, which tends to reduce immunity, to radiotherapy.  To help meet this increased demand the MPs urge the Minister to sweep away existing bureaucratic barriers that are restricting the number of centres able to offer advanced techniques that allow a greater throughput of patients, funding for IT and innovative practical solutions and to further boost radiotherapy capacity by harnessing spare capacity in the private sector.


Chair of the APPG, Tim Farron MP said: “This is a particularly worrying time for cancer patients and the radiotherapy professionals who treat them.  The need for a proper supply of PPE is clear.  Both the clinicians and the patients are at unacceptable risk without it.  I urge the Secretary of State to act on this and the other matters we have raised.  Revised NHS guidelines for cancer treatment are recommending fewer hospital visits to reduce risk for cancer patients. We know that a change to internal NHS tariffs would allow clinicians to provide more advanced treatments that do exactly that. We call on the Secretary of State to make these simple interventions now and protect cancer patients who do not need the anxiety of a choice between delayed treatment or additional risks posed by coronavirus.”


Professor Pat Price, chair of the charity Action Radiotherapy and founder of the Radiotherapy4Life Campaign and who advises the APPG said, “The lack of PPE is creating a morally outrageous position for my colleagues who work in close proximity to vulnerable patients every day.  Do they continue on without the PPE putting themselves and other patients at risk, or do they stand back until the equipment is delivered which risks causing further life threatening delay to cancer patients?’


The extra pressure caused by the urgent need to cope with the pandemic has laid bare problems we have highlighted for years.  Of course fighting the virus is the priority. But cancer patients will be experiencing the shock waves of this long after the immediate crisis has passed until we have a vaccine, so it is vital we do everything we can now to ensure that radiotherapy can save as many lives as possible’.




Notes to the editor


  1. Letter attached


  1. Radiotherapy is a treatment used to kill cancer cells through aiming high-energy radiation at the tumour. Unlike chemotherapy, which impacts the entire body with chemicals, modern radiotherapy is accurate to within millimetres, limiting damage to healthy cells around the cancer. This makes radiotherapy useful for treating cancers in areas vulnerable to damage, allowing effective treatment of cancers that would be practicably untreatable through surgery or chemotherapy.


  1. The All Party Parliamentary Group on radiotherapy was founded on the 22nd of May 2018. The Group brings together MPs and Peers from across the political and radiotherapy spectrum to debate key issues and campaign together to improve Radiotherapy services. Action Radiotherapy provides the secretariat for the UK government All Party Parliamentary Group (APPGRT) on Radiotherapy.

    1. APPG RT report on Radiotherapy “Securing the future of Britain’s secret life saver” was published in September 2019 (

    2. The APPG RT manifesto (


  1. The Society of Radiographers has advised members must be provided with minimum appropriate PPE when dealing with all patients. The SoR supports members who refuse to carry out examinations if they feel unsafe to do so." (


  1. A Lancet study published 1st April 2020 notes cancer patients are “already vulnerable to infection because of their underlying illness and often immunosuppressed status, and are at increased risk of developing severe complications from the virus, including intensive care unit admission or even death. Moreover, for those who develop COVID-19, treatment of the disease will be prioritised, and further cancer therapy could be delayed, although such decisions must be made on a patient-by-patient basis and not based only on the early small reports published in the first few weeks of the pandemic.”(


  1. NHS commissioning of radiotherapy: NHSE commissions radiotherapy centrally a system which pays NHS Trusts per fraction of radiotherapy delivered, rather than per treatment course, resulting in a situation where NHS Trusts have financial incentives to provide patients with older, less effective radiotherapy treatments, since better, more modern treatments require fewer fractions.


  1. Advanced radiotherapy stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy (SABR), was first used 25 years ago and the UK professionals introduced this via the development of a UK SABR consortium in 2007. Since NHSE took over commissioning of radiotherapy in 2013, this development however, has been actively restricted in England. A recent parliamentary question (PQ 230712), it was stated that lung SABR was being restricted to only 25 of the 52 radiotherapy centres in England, despite this being lifesaving technology recommended by NICE


  1. The NHS currently spends around 5%( in the region of £400 million per year) of its cancer budget on the provision of radiotherapy services; whereas in many high income countries in Europe, that figure is at or above 10%. This compares with the cost of just one cancer drug used in one indication for breast cancer: the NHS adjuvant Herceptin budget (a drug used to treat 15–20% of breast cancer patients) is £160 million a year.


  1. The NHS Long Term Plan anticipates a considerable increase in early diagnosis in the coming 10 year period. Typically, the earlier a cancer is diagnosed the more likely it is that radiotherapy will be the most appropriate treatment.


  1. Members of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Radiotherapy:

Tim Farron

Derek Thomas

Grahame Morris

Andrea Jenkyns

Catherine West

Damian Green

Mark Tami

Oliver Heald

Scott Mann

Tonia Antoniazzi

Jim Shannon

Mike Hill

Baroness Armstrong of Hill Top

Lord Tyler

Fay Jones

Jonathan Gullis

Selaine Saxby

Ian Paisley

Alex Davies-Jones

Barbara Keeley

Beth Winter

Derek Twigg

Diana Johnson

George Howarth

Jack Dromey

Jeff Smith

Kate Hollern

Kim Johnson

Marsha De Cordova

Mary Glindon

Paula Barker

Rosie Cooper

Taiwo Owatemi

Yvonne Fovargue

Christina Rees

Rachael Maskell

Ben Lake

Liz Saville Roberts

Martyn Day

Henry Smith

Baroness Redfern

Baroness Golding

Baroness Healy of Primrose Hill

Viscount Simon

Lord Rennard

March 13, 2020

Press release: Henry Smith supports global manufacturer of innovative cancer technologies in Crawley

​Press Release


Date : Immediate Release 13th March 2020

Contacts :

Peter Carroll 07866 800 755

Daniel Laing 07983 472 541

Henry Smith MP visited Varian Medical Systems today to see the world-leading cancer care technologies manufactured in Crawley. As a supporter of the Radiotherapy4Life campaign, Action Radiotherapy and an active member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Radiotherapy (APPG RT), Henry met with representatives and local constituents who contribute to these innovative cancer care technologies.


Henry said:


“I was proud to visit Varian Medical Systems who have been creating jobs and opportunities in Crawley for over 35 years. Having access to the most advanced radiotherapy treatments is vital for fighting cancer and a staggering 1 in 4 of us will need it at some point in our lives.”


“On my visit I was delighted to see the work of local manufacturers in Crawley contributing to innovative technologies driving new wins in cancer care. As a member of the APPG for Radiotherapy, I know the life-saving impacts of radiotherapy and was grateful for the chance to see these innovations being produced first hand”.


Adele Lyons, Head Sales and Service UK and Ireland for Varian Medical Systems, said:


“We are very pleased to welcome Henry Smith, Crawley MP, to our UK and Ireland headquarters. We are particularly excited to share with him the manufacture of our latest technology platform, Halcyon. At Varian, we are committed to supporting the UK economy for more than 35 years, as well as the APPG RT, to enable the right access to radiotherapy for all patients who need it, by focusing on innovation through a strong investment in R&D.”


With 250 employees in the UK and Ireland and 10,000 worldwide, Varian Medical Systems hold a shared vision of a world without fear of cancer. Providing important tools for fighting cancer used across private, NHS, and veterinary sectors, Varian has the stated aim of providing simpler, more efficient, and more effective technologies to power new victories in cancer care.


Varian provides comprehensive solutions for radiotherapy, radiosurgery, proton therapy, and brachytherapy, as well as software systems for planning treatments, managing cancer clinics, sharing knowledge, coordinating care, and using data to deliver evidence-based medicine. With an Intelligent Cancer Care approach, the company is harnessing advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analytics to enhance cancer treatment and expand access to care.

February 04, 2020

Radiotherapy4Life event at the House of Commons

Yesterday, the Radiotherapy4Life campaign, in association with Action Radiotherapy and the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Radiotherapy (APPGRT), hosted an event for MPs and Peers in the House of Commons for World Cancer Day to raise awareness about the need for improved radiotherapy provision in the NHS. We were supported by the UK Radiotherapy Board (SOR, IPEM and RCR) as well as industry and individual professionals. We had a great turn out of MPs interested to hear about radiotherapy. We discussed our recent report, covered this week by the Daily Express, showing that 3.5 million people in England live further than the 45 minute recommended travel time to their nearest radiotherapy centre. Investment in infrastructure, workforce and IT is desperately needed - half of NHS Trusts have machines that need replacing and advanced treatments are being restricted. Following this, a signed letter was delivered to No 10 Downing Street. The next step is for MPs to visit their local radiotherapy department and learn what a fantastic job the professionals do. To see more, please visit Radiotherapy4Life on Twitter, and follow the hashtag #Radiotherapy4Life

September 14, 2019

Half of NHS trusts use obsolete radiotherapy machines far less effective at treating cancer

Almost half of NHS trusts are using outdated radiotherapy machines that are far less effective at killing cancer cells to treat patients.

The revelation comes days after the UK came bottom of an international league for cancer survival rates in The Lancet Oncology journal.

In 2016 the NHS said it was investing £130m in upgrading radiotherapy equipment but the figures, revealed via freedom of information requests, found 46% of trusts are still using outdated linear accelerator (Linac) machines beyond their recommended 10-year lifespan.

August 29, 2019

More than 20,000 cancer patients miss out on radiotherapy every year because the NHS doesn't refer them for it, report claims

More than 20,000 cancer patients miss out on radiotherapy every year because the NHS does not refer them for it, a report claims.

A report by MPs on the 'secret scandal' of radiotherapy said cancer patients were being denied the treatment because it was seen as an expensive option for the NHS.

August 29, 2019

MPs highlight `secret scandal´ of radiotherapy access as NHS dispute figures

Politicians have criticised the “secret scandal” of poor radiotherapy provision amid a dispute with the NHS over how many cancer patients may not be getting treatment.

A report from MPs across the political spectrum estimates that 20,000 patients are missing out on treatment each year.

July 18, 2019

The Society of Radiographers respond to yesterday's House of Commons debate

The Society of Radiographers have published their response to yesterday's House of Commons debate. 

July 17, 2019

Radiotherapy provision debated in the House Of Commons

Following the ongoing Radiotherapy4Life campaign, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Radiotherapy (APPG-RT) have been successful in raising a voteable debate in the House of Commons on Radiotherapy which was held yesterday afternoon (Thursday 18th July 2019). This can be re-watched by clicking the link below which will take you to our APPG Video Hub. The Radiotherapy motion was passed. The next step is for the APPG MPs is to meet with the Cancer Minister to progress the issues raised.

May 27, 2019

Response to NHS England’s Final Radiotherapy Service Specification

NHS England (NHSE) took over commissioning of radiotherapy (RT) in England in April 2013. NHSE, together with Cancer Research UK (CRUK) with input from professionals, produced the document, Vision for Radiotherapy 2014–2024, in March 2014. This provided a strategic outline of how future RT services might be best configured and delivered. NHSE committed to work with stakeholders to ‘define a national strategy for implementation of the vision’. NHSE then spent the next five years developing their national strategy to deliver this vision.

October 11, 2018

APPGRT members visit Elekta

On Friday the 12th of October, APPGRT Vice Chairpersons Grahame Morris MP and Gillian Keegan MP visited Elektas site in Crawley. Elekta make between 30 - 40% of the Linacs in the world and 95% of the machines they manufacture in Crawley are exported throughout the world. The group had the opportunity to visit the new Unity machine combining MRI technology and radiotherapy for even more accurate planning and treatment delivery.

September 12, 2018

Manifesto launched by the APPG for Radiotherapy

On the 12th of September 2018, the APPG for Radiotherapy launched their Manifesto at the Academy of Medical Sciences in London. Tim Farron MP, the Chair of the APPG, was joined by numerous radiotherapy professionals including representatives from the Royal College of Radiologists, The Society and College of Radiographers, the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine.

September 05, 2018

MP meets with chair of Health Select Committee in bid for support for radiotherapy campaign

Local MP Tim Farron has met with the chair of the influential Commons Health and Social Care Committee to gather support for his campaign for radiotherapy services to be easily accessible for all cancer patients.

September 04, 2018

MP officially opens £1.5m MRI scanning unit at Northwood

A NEW £1.5m charity-funded MRI scanner unit at Mount Vernon was officially opened on Monday night by Tim Farron MP, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Radiotherapy.

July 17, 2018

Tim Farron MP launches cross-party manifesto for radiotherapy

MP Tim Farron has today launched a cross-party manifesto for radiotherapy in Westminster.

The all-party parliamentary group on radiotherapy, which Tim is the chair of, has produced a manifesto which calls on the Government to increase its investment in radiotherapy and improve access to treatment.

May 21, 2018

Launch of APPGRT

On the 22nd of May 2018, in Westminster Tim Farron MP launched the APPG (All Party Parliamentary Group) on Radiotherapy with cross party support with an aim to develop a new patient manifesto for radiotherapy treatment in the UK. Action Radiotherapy was confirmed as the secretariat. With adequate resources we have the capability of providing a world leading high quality cost effective nationally consistent innovative radiotherapy service. 

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