West Cornwall MP Derek Thomas asked the Prime Minister for reassurance that radiotherapy services will not be moved away from the Sunset Centre at RCHT at PMQs on Wednesday.
NHS England is currently consulting on radiotherapy services in Cornwall and considering how best to invest a further £130 million into radiotherapy treatment for rare and less common cancers.
The proposals have caused concern among many residents in the county that radiotherapy services may be moved out of Cornwall.
Speaking at PMQs, Mr Thomas asked Mrs May: “Can she reassure my constituents that there is no need for existing good radiotherapy services in the Sunrise Centre to be moved to deliver cancer treatment for rare cancers?”
Mrs May responded: “We do recognise the importance of ensuring people have access to these treatments they require and we do recognise the issues that people sometimes face in relation to travelling to the centres where these services are available.
“This is primarily a decision to be taken at local level and … I would encourage people to take part in the consultation, to respond to the consultation, so that local views can be heard and truly taken into account.”
Speaking later, Mr Thomas said: “NHS England say it is not their intention to reduce the number of radiotherapy providers, nor is it considered to be a likely outcome of these proposals.
“Their aim is to encourage radiotherapy providers to work together in Networks to concentrate expertise and improve pathways for patients requiring radical radiotherapy for the less common and rarer cancers.
“I have made it clear to NHS England and NHS managers in Cornwall that I would not support existing services being moved from RCHT but I fully understand people’s concerns and I continue to urge them to take part in the consultation which continues until 24th January.”
More information can be found on NHS England’s website; to share your views on the online survey https://www.engage.england.nhs.uk/…/radiotherapy-service-s…/