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Study finds poor access to radiotherapy services in England

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b3278 (Published 12 August 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b3278
  1. Roger Dobson
  1. 1Abergavenny

    More than 30 000 patients with cancer a year in England may not be getting appropriate radiotherapy. The authors of an audit based study of all NHS radiotherapy centres say that provision falls short in three key areas—waiting times for treatment, access to treatment, and the dose fractionation prescribed (Clinical Oncology 2009 Aug 3, doi:10.1016/j.clon.2009.07.003).

    “There is a substantial current shortfall to be addressed immediately to meet waiting time targets and to improve timely access to treatment and thus the outcomes of therapy,” say the authors, from Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, and the Royal College of Radiologists.

    The paper focuses on the gap between radiotherapy activity in 2007 and demand, as modelled by the National Radiotherapy Advisory Group (NRAG).

    The authors collected data on all NHS patients in England who were starting a course of radiotherapy in …

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