Response to Closure of Radiotherapy Unit at RCHT Rumours

As far as I am aware, is no plan to move radiotherapy from RCHT. There is simply no plan.

This is also not the intended outcome of further investment in radiotherapy. There is a consultation regarding a new investment of £130 million in radiotherapy treatment for less common and rare cancers. This consultation has been extended until 24th January.

I have made it clear to NHS England and NHS managers in Cornwall that I would not support existing services being moved from RCHT. NHS England’s response is as follows:

‘It is not NHS England’s 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. This may mean that in some areas that some activity is concentrated and redistributed within the Network geography to other providers in order to secure access for patients to the very best specialist treatment and care.’

More information can be found on NHS England’s website. The consultation remains live and has been extended until 24 January 2018. I hope you will take part and share your views on the online survey https://www.engage.england.nhs.uk/consultation/radiotherapy-service-specification-consultation/

On Friday I have met with Cornwall’s NHS managers to discuss the likely implication for patients who need radiotherapy treatment. I have requested information regarding how many people currently receive radiotherapy for rare cancers in Cornwall each year on average and where this treatment currently is provided.

The distance people are required to travel for treatment must always be a consideration when designing new services.

Please be assured I will continue to follow this closely and do all I can to ensure patient care is at the forefront of all decision making regarding how this £130 million in radiotherapy treatment is used.