Use private clinics to tackle cancer backlog, Sajid Javid told
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The Health Secretary has so far refused to enter into a deal to let health service patients be fast-tracked for life-saving therapies. The Daily Express understands Cabinet colleagues and a host of cross-party MPs are among those urging him to act. This paper’s columnist Karol Sikora, a globally respected oncologist and founder of private provider Rutherford Health, has offered to open his suite of treatment centres to slash the record six million patients waiting for care.
But three months after the not-for-profit offer was made, NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care have yet to agree.
The NHS says patients already use Rutherford but numbers are around just 500 a year. Some 30,000 cancer sufferers would benefit from treatment at the five centres across the UK under the three-year deal.
Prof Sikora said: “Rutherford already treats modest volumes of NHS patients but we can do far more. We have the spare capacity to treat a significant number, cutting waiting times and giving tens of thousands access to world-class facilities.
“Our cancer centres are strategically placed with a wide geographical spread – millions of people are within a short journey to a Rutherford centre.
“We have the staff, facilities, capacity and the willingness to provide for far more NHS patients. In order to reduce the concerning backlog, we need pragmatic solutions. Our 36-month not-for-profit offer is exactly that.”
The Express exclusively revealed the offer – put to health bosses on December 21 – on Wednesday. It would be the largest private-public partnership in NHS history.
Prof Sikora and Rutherford say they have been bombarded with thousands of supportive messages. Mr Javid, meanwhile, will come under pressure today when the Tory Party gathers for its spring conference in Blackpool.
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