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Radiotherapy: Coronavirus

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 20th May 2020.

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Photo of Rosie Cooper Rosie Cooper Labour, West Lancashire

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure (a) the full use of NHS radiotherapy capacity and (b) that radiotherapy cancer treatments are not being disrupted as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Holding answer received on 18 May 2020

A letter was issued to trusts on 29 April detailing the Second Phase of Response to COVID-19.

This letter sets out that local systems and Cancer Alliances must continue to identify ring-fenced diagnostic and surgical capacity for cancer, and providers must protect and deliver cancer treatment by ensuring that cancer hubs are fully operational. Full use should be made of the available contracted independent sector hospitals. Regional cancer Senior Responsible Officers must now provide assurance that these arrangements are in place everywhere.

Cancer treatment, including radiotherapy, must be brought back to pre-pandemic levels at the earliest opportunity to minimise potential harm, and to reduce the scale of the post-pandemic surge in demand.

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