08 MAY 2019
Thank you very much for taking the time to email me about the Radiotherapy4Life Campaign.
I have recently met with the Secretary of State to discuss the need for greater capital investment in the NHS not only for vital new equipment but also for maintenance. The announcements on NHS England Spending do not cover capital and it will be essential for this to be addressed in the Spending Review.
I have also met with the chair of the NHS workforce review, Dido Harding and with Health Education England to discuss the workforce shortfall across the NHS which is also a serious threat to radiotherapy services.
Earlier this month I held a round table with a coalition of cancer charities to also hear their wider views on the NHS Long Term Plan for cancer and where I could best assist them.
As chair of the Health and Social Care Committee I cannot join individual health campaigns but assure you that the issues around radiotherapy will be raised in the committee's ongoing scrutiny of the ambitions on cancer within the Long Term Plan https://www.longtermplan.nhs.uk/online-version/chapter-3-further-progress-on-care-quality-and-outcomes/better-care-for-major-health-conditions/cancer/
An oral question was raised on this topic in the House at the end of last year and it was clarified that since 2016, the radiotherapy modernisation programme has seen £130 million of new investment to ensure that all new equipment can deliver advanced radiotherapy. You can read more about this here.
Access to radiotherapy was also raised in a debate concerning the Cancer Workforce and Early Diagnosis, you can view this and the Minister's response here.
Lastly, the following note from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology regarding advances in cancer treatment may be of interest:
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