Pressure for government to bring treatment to the UK

Ashya King
Ashya King

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CALLS have been made for the government to bring proton beam therapy to the UK.

It comes as Ashya King’s family were given permission by the High Court to fly the five-year-old to Prague for proton beam therapy for a brain tumour.

The Society of Radiographers will call on the TUC Congress next week to put pressure on the government to raise investment in healthcare services to similar levels as other countries in the European Union.

Paul Moloney, the society’s trade union and industrial relations manager, said: ‘The frustration that people feel at the lack of investment in critical care was embodied this week in the sad case of Aysha King.

‘Aysha’s parents felt that it was necessary to go overseas to try and access treatment options for their son’s brain tumour.

‘Proton beam therapy will not be available in the UK until 2018, ten years after it was introduced in Germany. UK patients who need this treatment have to travel overseas at a cost to the NHS of more than £90,000 each.

‘There is also a growing critical issue around the provision of diagnostic services such as magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography.

‘Demand is growing but the government has failed to increase funding of equipment and train the staff needed.

The society is asking for an immediate review so that health and care services meet the needs of the population.