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STATEMENT ON THE RADIOTHERAPY DATASET

02 August 2011

Audrey Paterson, Director of Professional Policy at the Society and College of Radiographers, said: “The National Cancer Services Analysis team should be commended for the publication of this data which, for the first time, gives us a highly detailed picture of radiotherapy provision in England.

"However, the Society and College of Radiographers is concerned by the north-south divide which seems to exist in the uptake of radiotherapy services. Even after all other factors are removed, it is clear that there is a geographical gap and that patients who could benefit from radiotherapy treatments are not receiving them.

"Patients in Yorkshire and the north of England receive less radiotherapy treatment than people in other parts of England. Radiotherapy is an incredibly important part of cancer treatment and saves many thousands of lives every year. We need to ensure that everyone, regardless of location, is able to access the highest quality radiotherapy service possible so that we can help even more people with cancer.

"The government has pledged £200 million for the Cancer Drugs Fund to tackle the issue of postcode prescribing for cancer drugs. It would only take a fraction of this budget to deliver cutting edge radiotherapy services across the country and the impact would be immense.

"The government must ensure that radiotherapy, which cures more people than chemotherapy, receives sufficient funding so that we can close the north-south divide which currently exists.”

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