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Stop the South East Coast Specialist Funding Groups Blanket Ban on NHS Funding for Cyberknife Radiotherapy Now
Petition Background (Preamble):
The SECSCG have placed a blanket ban on funding Cyberknife Stereotactic Radiotherapy, and state that they do not fund Cyberknife Stereotactic Radiotherapy under any circumstance. We argue that the grounds cited by SECSCG for this blanket ban do not meet Department of Health guidelines, are based purely on cost, and provide no evidence whatsoever that would support a blanket ban. We also argue that as Cyberknife is now becoming available within NHS Hospitals, and is funded by 28 PCT's in other parts of the Country, that this ban is a poor use of exisiting NHS resources, and is unjust.
Cyberknife is a specialist form of radiotherapy that is so accurate that it can be used on tumours that conventional radiotherapy cannot be used for - such as tumours in the Brain, Lungs, Liver, Spine etc. Additionally, because it is so accurate it can be used at a potentially curative dose.
Cyberknife radiotherapy is highly regarded amongst the medical profession. There are currently over 200 Cyberknife Machines used around the world, and it has been the subject of over 400 peer reviews. Mount Vernon NHS Hospital recently acquired Cyberknife and now accept patients. Similarly, The Royal Marsden, in London, St. James Hospital in Leeds and Derriford Hospital in Plymouth have also purchased Cyberknife, and will start accepting patients this year (2011).
NICE are still deciding if Cyberknife actually requires evaluation, but in the meantime the Department of Health have told PCT's that they must conduct their own reviews, and that these reviews must take account of the NHS Constitution and the Human Rights Act. Unfortunately, SECSCG have not conducted their own review, but have relied on a 2003 Canadian Public Health Report, which only considered the cost effectiveness of Cyberknife - not the clinical effectiveness. Furthermore, the report only considered cost effectiveness for the treatment of certain cancers. So, SECSCG have no evidence whatsoever that would support refusing to fund Cyberknife for all cancers (even just on cost grounds).
Twenty eight PCT's around the Country do fund Cyberknife, but not one of these is in Surrey, Sussex or Kent. This is not only unfair, but a crazy waste of NHS resources, given that we have Hospitals in the South East able to accept patients.
If we can successfully challenge the SECSCG, then other PCT's may recognise that they cannot refuse funding on such flimsy grounds.
Please sign the petition, and write to your MP now.
The Stop the South East Coast Specialist Funding Groups Blanket Ban on NHS Funding for Cyberknife Radiotherapy Now petition to The South East Coast Specialist Commissioning Group was written by Lesley Whiting and is in the category Health at GoPetition. Contact author here. Petition tags: cyberknife, funding, nhs, pct