Cancer Treatment Post Code Lottery Report – Too late for many!

Well would you believe it, a report out today from the Dept of Health confirms that we cancer patients are subject to a Post Code Lottery – please tell us something we don’t know.  How much did this report cost I wonder?  You couldn’t make this up!!  It says that almost all Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) failed to match the best cancer survival rates in Europe.  We have known this for years.  This country now stands alongside Poland and the Czech republic for five-year survival rates in 16th position.  Where have all the extra billions from tax revenue gone, input into the NHS by this government - we know don’t we?  Now they have identified the problem perhaps they will set up yet another money-pit department for the Very Senior Mangers to come up with some ideas over the next ten years or so!

This comes as no surprise to any of us.  Speaking as someone with advanced kidney cancer and chair of a large KC patient support group here in Oxfordshire, I know this from first hand experience.  We have lost so many from our group.   Many of whom had little option but to spend their last precious months battling with Oxfordshire PCT trying to gain access to Sutent (sunitinib) before the final NICE decision.  Most PCTs had different policies then (and probably still do).  What was most shocking was that our PCT made the decision NOT to fund Sutent at a meeting where no specialist medical Oncologist was even present, and they were sitting on an unspent surplus of £2 million!  Despite patients meeting with the Chief Executive and a Public Health Consultant, they still would not shift their position, or even agree to reconsider their policy – and so more patients died without the option of Sutent.  The clinicians did what they could but their hands were tied by this draconian policy.  The PCT chief executive has since been promoted to chief exec of our SHA.  If their performance management bonus scheme rewards those who make a financial surplus whilst denying patients life extending drugs then something is very wrong!

At this special time of year it is important that we all pause for a moment and remember these brave patients together with all those others we know, and their loved ones they have left behind.  Many came along with us to the London demo at NICE HQ and as a result of their actions gave vital extra time for others with this dreadful cancer.

It is now time for all of us to join together, regardless of our type of cancer, and to speak out with one voice to demand the best for all of us.  We are fully paid up citizens and it is time to show the powers that be that we will no longer accept the status quo – IT IS TIME TO RAISE THE BAR!!

Posted under Clive Stone

1 Comment so far

  1. donna December 2, 2009 10:37 pm

    so glad to see people speak up about this! its a disgrace that people cant get these drugs and we certainly don’t need the government running our healthcare! god bless you. donna

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