Cancer is one of the most serious diseases and, as such, must be treated effectively and in a way that does not place the patient under undue stress and difficulty. Radiotherapy is used in the treatment of nearly half of all cancer patients, but the people of North-East Hertfordshire find it difficult to access these services, owing to the long journeys required to get to them.
The nearest radiotherapy facilities are in Mount Vernon Hospital in Hillingdon and Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge. In order to prevent patients in North-East Hertfordshire from having to undertake these long trips – many of which have to be taken on consecutive days – I have launched a campaign to put pressure on NHS England to provide a satellite radiotherapy service in Lister Hospital in Stevenage. You can track the progress on my campaign below.
December 2014 - Here are links to three Written Parliamentary Questions I asked the Health Department at the start of my campaign, outlining the difficulty that the people in North East Hertfordshire have in accessing radiotherapy services:
January 9th, 2015 - Here is a link to my Press Release about my petition for a Satellite Radiotherapy Centre at The Lister Hospital http://www.oliverheald.com/news/sir-oliver-heald-campaigns-satellite-radiotherapy-centre-lister-hospital
January 23rd, 2015 - In the chamber, I called on the Leader of the House of Commons to povide Parliamentary time for a debate on radiotherapy services. Find out more here.
February 4th, 2015 - I led a debate in Parliament on the provision of radiotherary services in North-East Hertfordshire, in which I called upon the Health Minister to press NHS England to consider the difficulties suffered by cancer patients in the constituency. Find out more here.
March 23rd, 2015 - To test NHS England's claim that the journey from Letchworth to Mount Vernon Hospital in London can be done in 45 minutes, I have so far completed three journeys. Leaving LGC at 8am, it took 1 hour 25 minutes and, even at midday, it took almost an hour.
March 24th, 2015 - I welcome the progress made at a meeting today with NHS England, Stephen Mc Partland MP, and a Consultant Surgeon from the Lister. See the press release here.
March 24th, 2015 - The Government has given a response to the Petition that I presented to the House earlier this month. It is attached below. I am pleased that Ministers are actively considering the situation in Hertfordshire.
June 24th, 2015 – I have received confirmation that the radiotherapy providers in the East of England are completing a Capacity and Demand Survey which will be returned to the Regional Team by 26th June. NHS England’s priorities for 2015/16 are to be published within the next few weeks, and this will include the subject of radiotherapy.
January 12th, 2016 - I am arranging a meeting with Accountable Commissioner Kim Fell and other representatives from NHS England to discuss the findings of the radiotherapy capacity and demand survey, which is nearing completion.
April 2017 - I had a good meeting with Nick Carver CEO of Lister Hospital. There has been real progress in planning for a radiotherapy facility in Stevenage.