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NHS urged to invest in world-class radiotherapy services

29 November, 2018
Linear accelerator

Fifeteen professional bodies, charities and advocacy groups in England, including the Society and College, Cancer Research UK, Macmillan Cancer Support, and the Royal College of Radiologists have written a joint letter to NHS England to emphasise the need for ‘world-class’ radiotherapy services.

Addressed to Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, and Cally Palmer, NHS England’s national cancer director, the letter emphasises that the NHS 10-year plan must be backed by a long-term cancer workforce plan and investment to fulfil "commitment to patients".

It also asks for "IT infrastructure that will enable successful delivery of the upcoming service specification as well as a commitment to a programme of rolling upgrades for linear accelerators.”

The letter goes on to state that potential gains are dependent on networking between radiotherapy centres, which require the right technology.

“IT solutions must enable support centres to collaborate on treatment planning and peer review, as well as evaluation of services across and between radiotherapy networks," the letter says.

“This infrastructure is not currently in place. Without this final element, the investment...will not translate into the impact that we want to see, and the vision of a networked model of service delivery will not materialise.”

Concluding, the signatories comment, “As a community, we share a vision for a high-quality, sustainable and equitable radiotherapy service in the NHS, with world-leading research at its core.

“We urge you to take this opportunity to ensure this becomes a reality.”

The letter is signed by:
Sue Webb, president, Society and College of Radiographers
Sue Farringdon-Smith, Brain Tumour Research
Samia al Qadhi and Mia Rosenblatt, Breast Cancer Care
Dr Lisa Wilde, Bowel Cancer UK
Jane Lyons, Cancer52
Emma Greenwood, Cancer Research UK
Maggie Wilcox, Independent Cancer Patient Voice
Dr Hayley James, Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine
Rose Woodward, Kidney Cancer Support Network
Nick Turkentine, Kidney Cancer UK

Dr Moira Fraser-Pearc, Macmillan Cancer Support
Dr Moira Fraser-Pearc and Heather Blake, Prostate Cancer UK
Dr Jeanette Dickson, Royal College of Radiologists
Richard Davidson, Sarcoma UK

Download and read the letter.

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