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NHS England launches consultation on innovative radiotherapy treatments

NHS England is seeking people’s views on proposed changes to the shape of Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) and Stereotactic Radiotherapy (SRT) services across the country.

SRS and SRT are forms of radiotherapy used to treat patients with intracranial conditions such as brain tumours. NHS England took on responsibility for commissioning these services in April 2013 and inherited a number of different commissioning arrangements. These meant that patients were experiencing variable access to services depending where they lived.

As the single national commissioner of SRS and SRT services, NHS England has the opportunity – for the first time ever – to develop a national service, which means equal access to high quality services for all patients requiring this specialised treatment.

To understand the capacity and demand for such services, NHS England carried out a review and found an unmet need in the provision of treatment, with services distributed unevenly across the country.

The consultation launched today sets out a number of options for change, each is focused on achieving the best possible choice and experience for patients.

Sean Duffy, National Clinical Director for Cancer at NHS England, said: “We look forward to hearing the views of as many people as possible during the next 12 weeks.  I would like to take this opportunity to encourage you all to help us shape the future of these services, and ensure that patients get the very best care and treatment which they deserve.

“I would encourage everyone to pay due consideration to the options for change, in particular the prospect of offering these services seven days a week, which has the potential to ensure that patients have easier access to vital services, whenever, and wherever, they need them.”

Following consultation, and once a decision has been made about the future configuration of services, NHS England will launch a procurement exercise to ensure the right level of service is accessible to patients, regardless of where they live.

To find out about how you can contribute your views, go to the online consultation.

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One comment

  1. Abhro Chaudhuri says:

    SABR should be made available in all radiotherapy centres where there is the ability to deliver this service safely. At the moment, there is limited availability of this service, centralized to few centres only. This limits the access for patients. Moreover, with growing demand, these centres are often failing to deliver the treatment within a reasonable time, which often leads to progression of the tumour which, consequently, can not be treated with DSABR any more. The patients in questions are often frail and elderly, who would benefit from treatment closer to home rather than needing to travel long distances.