In Brain News, Research News

All-Party Parliamentary Group for Radiotherapy Inquiry published

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Radiotherapy campaigns to raise awareness of radiotherapy provision in the NHS and the need for increased funding, so that the UK can provide a world-class radiotherapy service for all patients. Its Parliamentary Inquiry – Radiotherapy: Securing the Future of Britain’s Secret Lifesaver was published last week. Radiotherapy plays a key part in treatment for people living with a brain tumour; more about our radiotherapy resources can be found here.

Key findings include:

– Only 5% of the NHS cancer budget funds radiotherapy
– There is a critical workforce crisis
– 40% of Trusts have machines over 10 years old that require replacing
– Stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) is commissioned in fewer than half of NHS trusts that provide radiotherapy
– The “archaic system” that pays NHS Trusts a sum per fraction of radiotherapy delivered, rather than per treatment course, needs to be changed
– Based on published figures, 20,000 patients may be missing out on radiotherapy each year
– The disparity in radiotherapy provision between rural and urban populations creates unnecessary barriers for access.

Through our work with the Clinical and Translational Research Working Group (CTRAD) we know that research in radiotherapy is leading the development of treatments and is world class; it is a shame that the infrastructure hasn’t kept up the pace. We know too that many of you suffer long delays in scan reporting scans. This report should drive change for everyone who needs radiotherapy.