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Cancer: Radiotherapy

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 42217, tabled on 1 May 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that radiotherapy services used in cancer treatment continue during the covid-19 outbreak.

Answered on

28 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 surgery and cancer treatment by ensuring that cancer surgery hubs are fully operational. Full use should be made of the available contracted independent sector hospital and diagnostic capacity locally and regionally. Regional cancer Senior Responsible Officers must now provide assurance that these arrangements are in place everywhere.

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.