NHS budget cuts place cancer patients at risk

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Some of Britain’s top doctors and surgeons have stated that the ‘draconian’ cuts to the NHS budgets are placing the lives of cancer patients at risk.

A leaked letter of complaint which was delivered to the NHS England from 13 clinicians complained about restrictions placed on the use of extremely expensive machines. They also complained about the shortage of trained staff to treat cancer patients and the plans to close down 18 specialist centres where brain cancer patients are being treated.
The letter was signed by every regional representative in the Radiosurgery Clinical Review Group in England and stated their high level of concern about the potential risks in the delay of treatment to certain patients.

Matthias Radatz, a consultant neurosurgeon who was the author of the letter stated that the changes made during the last year were ‘draconian’ and the patients who are forced to wait for radiosurgery are being left in limbo. He also said that the situation is appalling to both the expert and the layman and accused NHS England of ‘acting out of spite or ignorance.’

He stated that they had offered assistance, but have not received any feedback from the health service.

A senior NHS source who had access to the letter stated that it was a cry for help from the leading cancer doctors Britain has to offer. The source said that radiotherapy procedures have become chaotic in a period of less than one year. The opening of new cancer centres were cancelled and multi-million pounds worth of equipment is sitting unused in hospital simply because the bureaucrats at NHS England will not allow it to be used on the NHS patients who need it.

The source also stated that the Prime Minister, David Cameron, had promised that there would be more radiotherapy treatment available for cancer patients, and NHS England has made a complete fool of him.

A spokesperson for NHS England said that they would have to place their resources in a place where the most patients would benefit. They are aware that they should not have expensive facilities standing idle.

Image credit: Mike Johnson

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