Achieving the very best outcomes will depend on the effort, dedication and passion of every part of the health and care service.
The change that we seek to make to patient outcomes will only be possible with a sustained focus on making sure we can deliver a high quality, modern service that meets the complex needs of patients.
The NHS should be at the cutting edge of technology and clinical innovation, and this work will help to make sure that we are delivering the world-class services that patients need.
The largest NHS radiotherapy upgrade programme in 15 years will complete in autumn 2018. With one in four cancer patients being treated with radiotherapy, we have ensured that recent advances in the field have been introduced quickly, so that patients across the country have access the latest cutting-edge technology and techniques.
New LINAC radiotherapy machines
Radiotherapy is a core part of modern cancer treatment. It can cure cancers, assist in alleviating symptoms and is cost effective – four out of 10 patients that are cured of their cancer have received radiotherapy as part, or the whole, of their treatment. It typically uses high-energy radiation from a linear accelerator (LINAC).
Since the radiotherapy modernisation programme started in July 2016, 80 of these machines have been upgraded or replaced, so that cancer patients have access to the latest technology, making treatment more effective. These new and upgraded machines use cutting-edge technology to target radiation doses more precisely at tumours, minimising side-effects and tissue damage. This leads to better health outcomes, recovery and treatment experience for patients.
It is estimated that this modernisation programme will result in a 15% increase in equipment utilisation for England as a whole over the next three years.
This will be further supported by two proton beam therapy centres (one at the Christie Hospital, Manchester and the other at the University College Hospital London) that will begin treating patients later in 2018/19, and stereotactic radiotherapy which can precisely target treatment at the affected area