A cross-party manifesto, proposing significant improvements to radiotherapy provision throughout the UK, has been launched by Tim Farron MP, (chair) and Gillian Keegan MP (Vice-Chair) of the newly formed All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Radiotherapy.
The manifesto’s key points are:
- By 2025 the percentage of cancer patients needing radiotherapy as part of their treatment will have risen from the current 50% to 60%.
- Only 5% of the NHS cancer budget is spent on radiotherapy (£383million a year). More investment will increase cancer survival.
- £424m in the last six years has been spent on advanced radiotherapy, compared with £1.95bn spent on new cancer drugs.
- An additional £100m a year is needed to catch up with and provide advanced radiotherapy in the UK.
- With a £250m one-off investment transformational change can be provided.
- Investment in IT connectivity will allow every cancer patient to have access to a radiotherapy centre as close to their home as possible
The manifesto document emphasises the need for investment in therapeutic radiographers and calls for the reinstatement of bursaries.
The SCoR’s director of professional policy, Charlotte Beardmore, welcomed the APPG document, saying, “We are delighted that a cross-party group of MPs and peers recognises the vital role that radiotherapy and therapeutic radiographers play in the treatment of cancer patients.
“The investment the APPG propose, while fairly moderate in financial terms, would have a huge and positive impact on patients. An increase in funding is essential if the UK is to significantly improve cancer survival rates and reduce effects which impact on patients’ quality of life.”