We have now sent the letter to the Secretary of State for Health however, you are still welcome to add your name using the tool below in order to show your support for SABR services to be opened up across the NHS in England.

"We welcome all members of the oncology and radiotherapy community (e.g. clinicians, physicists, radiographers, dosimetrists, nurses and technicians) to sign up to our open letter to the Secretary of State for Health and NHS England, which is calling for Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy (SABR) services to be opened up across the NHS in England. We believe that it is crucial to maximise radiotherapy capacity to manage a predicted surge in cancer diagnosis and a backlog of cases due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Delays in cancer treatment costs lives, and is vital that we try to achieve supra-normal levels of capacity and activity to minimise and reduce waiting lists"

Dr Clive Peedell

Consultant Clinical Oncologist

James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough

Open letter to the Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock, and NHS England

“NHS England must stop rationing Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy (SABR). The use of SABR is essential to increase UK radiotherapy capacity, in order to deal with the cancer backlog during the COVID-19 pandemic”  

 

Dear Secretary of State,

The COVID-19 pandemic is having profound effects on the delivery of cancer services, as the unprecedented demand on the NHS has understandably forced a shift of focus away from non-emergency clinical services. At the same time, the necessary public health measures to lockdown the population to reduce viral transmission rates, has had a dramatic impact on the referral of patients with cancer symptoms from the community into secondary care. Cancer is generally a disease of older age and associated with risk factors such as smoking, alcohol and obesity, which result in additional co-morbidities. This is clearly a higher risk demographic who are being advised to self-isolate, causing anxiety about seeking help for cancer-related symptoms. Hence, there is a “perfect storm” for delayed diagnosis and reduced access to services. This is predicted to cause a large backlog of cases and later presentations of cancer, which are more difficult and complex to treat. NHS cancer services could become overwhelmed creating an additional public health crisis with a significant increase in cancer mortality and morbidity.  A recent analysis from University College London has estimated an additional 6270 additional cancer deaths over the next 12 months in England, a 20% increase over the expected numbers.

 

Developing supra-normal capacity in diagnostic and treatment services will be required to address the anticipated cancer backlog. However, this is unlikely to be achievable in key areas of cancer treatment like cancer surgery, where prioritisation of surgical cases may be required for many months at least, with capacity varying geographically and temporally. Moreover, although surgical activity is increasing again as the lockdown eases, COVID-19 is now endemic within society and surgical risk is inevitably higher in such an environment. Even “clean” surgical hubs cannot remain risk free. Recent surgical studies have shown mortality rates of 20-30% in patients who develop COVID-19 infection in the post-operative period. In addition, possible further lockdowns in response to further waves of infection could close down surgical capacity again in future. Since delays in surgery have been shown to increase cancer mortality exponentially with time, it is imperative and urgent that we reduce the burden on our surgical services by increasing the capacity of alternative options such as radiotherapy, which is already a key treatment modality in 50% of all cancer patients, contributing to 40% of cancer cures.

 

Much progress has already been made by the UK radiotherapy community by shortening radiotherapy treatment schedules, which frees up radiotherapy capacity and reduces COVID-19 exposure risks to both patients and staff by reducing the number of hospital visits. Unfortunately, one of the most important modern and innovative radiotherapy techniques that can further help tackle this crisis is being rationed by NHS England. Stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) is a method of radiation delivery that can accurately deliver very high doses of radiation to localised cancers, typically in 1-5 outpatient visits, compared to conventional radiotherapy which usually requires 20-30 visits over 4-6 weeks. It is used to treat many types of cancers and can also be an excellent alternative to surgery in selected cases of lung, prostate, kidney, liver and pancreas cancer. However, although every UK cancer centre has the ability to deliver SABR, NHS England has rationed the service so that only 25 out of England’s 52 radiotherapy centres are currently permitted to offer it (Written Parliamentary Question 230710 March 2019). Although Specialist commissioners have recently allocated £12M to open up more SABR centres (Written Parliamentary Question 46037 20 May 2020), the NHS England timetable to introduce this is by 2022. This is not acceptable under the current circumstances and goes against the current NICE COVID19 guideline on the delivery of radiotherapy, which states that the NHS should make the best use of its resources to reduce patient exposure to COVID-19, including alternative dose-fractionation schedules. Failure to act now will be detrimental to our goal of achieving the levels of supra-normal activity required to deal with the cancer backlog. This will inevitably result in more delays to cancer treatment and increasing morbidity and mortality. It will be a tragic lost opportunity.

 

We therefore call upon NHS England to unshackle SABR services in order to increase UK radiotherapy capacity to help tackle this national emergency.

 

 

 

Yours sincerely,

Dr Clive Peedell

Consultant Clinical Oncologist

James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough

 

Professor Pat Price

Chair, Action Radiotherapy

 

Professor Matthew Hatton

Consultant in Clinical Oncology

Weston Park Hospital, Sheffield

 

Professor Corrine Faivre-Finn

Honorary Consultant Oncologist and Professor of Thoracic Radiation Oncology

The Christie and the University of Manchester

 

Dr Crispin Hiley

Associate Professor UCL

Hon Consultant Clinical Oncologist UCLH

Visiting Scientist The Francis Crick Institute

 

Dr Andrew Bates

Consultant Clinical Oncologist

University Hospital of Southampton

 

Dr Xue-Yan Jiang

Consultant Clinical Oncologist

Freeman Hospital, Newcastle

 

Professor Anthony Chalmers

Consultant Clinical Oncologist

University of Glasgow

 

Dr Tony Pope

Consultant Clinical Oncologist, SABR lead The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre Liverpool

 

Mr Jim Daniel

Radiotherapy physicist

James Cook University Hospital

Middlesbrough

 

Mrs Claire Huntley

Superintendent radiographer, radiographer SABR lead James Cook University Hospital Middlesbrough

 

Dr Eleanor Aynsley

Consultant Clinical Oncologist

James Cook University Hospital

Middlesbrough

 

Dr Nick Wadd

Consultant Clinical Oncologist

James Cook University Hospital

 

Dr Guarav Kumar

Consultant Clinical Oncologist

James Cook University Hospital

 

Dr Dan Johnson

Department of radiotherapy physics

James Cook University Hospital

Middlesbrough

Dr Hannah Bainbridge MBChB, MRCP, PhD, FRCR 

Consultant Clinical Oncologist (Lung) 

Queen Alexandra Hospital 

Susan Helen Campbell

Research Partner

 

Tony Murphy

 

Linda Rose Gordon

Radiotherapy Services Manager

 

Jo Strickland

Therapeutic Radiographer   

 

Anne Anderson

Senior Planning Radiographer

Shrinivas Kuthpady

Therapy Radiographer

 

Erica Chivers

Senior Lecturer, Radiotherapy

 

Lizzie Tait

Radiotherapy Physicist

Elizabeth Cooper

Radiographer

 

Philip Reynolds

Consultant Therapuetic radiographer

 

Professor Glyn Shentall

Head of Radiotherapy Physics

Rosemere Cancer Centre - Preston

 

Elizabeth Southgate

Therapy Radiographer

 

Rosie Cooke

Therapeutic Radiographer

 

Susan Chadwick

Therapeutic Radiographer

 

Joanne Thomas

Therapy Radiographer

 

Naman Julka-Anderson

Therapeutic Radiographer

 

Katie Jayne Bircumshaw

Therapeutic Radiographer

 

Lauren Mercer

 

Alex Stewart

Oncologist

 

Joanne Little

Radiotherapy Radiographer

 

Tania Simnor

Radiotherapy physicist

 

Penny Kechagioglou

Consultant Oncologist

 

Claire Bode

Radiotherapy Service Manager

 

Caroline Knight

 

Ananya Choudhury

Chair and Honorary Consultant in Clinical Oncology

 

Karen Walker

Therapy Radiographer

 

Hazel Newcombe

Senior Radiotherapist

 

Jen Cannon

Clinical Scientist

 

David Maskell

Clinical Oncologist

 

Alice Maguire

 

Kamalram Thippu Jayaprakash

Consultant Clinical Oncologist

 

Lucy Darby

Therapy Radiographer

 

Rosie Hales

 

Carmel Facer

Lung Cancer Nurse Specialist

 

Dr Anthea Cree

Clinical Research Fellow

 

Carole Solazzo

 

Jennifer Lamming

Senior Radiotherapist

 

Miguel Panades

Consultant Clinical Oncologist

 

Joe Whitbourn

Medical Physicist

 

Teresa Howe

Therapeutic Radiographer

 

Chris O’Sullivan

Therapeutic Radiographer

 

Terri Land

Dosimetry Team Leader

 

Kieran James Bosson

Therapeutic Radiographer

 

Rachel Ball

Advanced Practitioner Therapy Radiographer

 

Kate Lynch

Therapy Radiographer

 

Clare Caine

Therapy Radiographer

 

Emma Mcclune

Radiographer

 

Mary Spensley

Retired Lecturer

 

Seema Rughani

Radiotherapy Radiographer

 

Joseph Rimmer

Physician Associate Student

Elizabeth Christine Sharman

Therapy Radiographer

 

Indie Hayes

Therapy Radiographer

 

Katie Ross

Senior Therapy Radiographer

 

Nicole Jessop

Medical Physicist

 

Helen Chamberlain

Radiotherapy Physics, The Christie, Manchester

 

Dr Mohammed Mubashir Kagzi

Consultant Clinical Oncologist, The James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough

 

Jacqueline Walters

Therapy Radiographer

 

Kim Meeking

Therapeutic Radiographer

 

Andrew Gaya

Consultant Clinical Oncologist

 

Jaymisha Davda

Radiographer

Ahmed Bedair

Consultant in Clinical Oncology

 

Rosaleen Crouch

Superintendent Radiographer- Advanced Practitioner for Technique Development

 

Catherine Soul-Williams

Therapy Radiographer

 

Christine Ball

Retired therapeutic radiographer

 

Joanne Findlay

Radiographer

 

Joanne Cook

Therapeutic Radiographer

 

Nicola Calvert

Radiographer

 

Marta Hidalgo

Therapeutic radiographer

 

Eleanor Derrick

Diagnostic Radiographer

 

Anna Lydon

Consultant Clinical Oncologist

 

Clare Hartill

Head of Radiotherapy, Royal Free Hospital

 

Pamela Bowen

Medical Physicist

 

Lynne Davies

Lung cancer CNS

 

David Pilborough

Radiographer

 

Lisa-Jane Conway

Radiographer

 

Catherine Mercer

Tunbridge Wells

 

Darragh O Donovan

Radiotherapist

 

Susan Harden

Consultant clinical oncologist

 

Kate Garas

Research Radiographer

 

Professor Jon Wadsley

Consultant Clinical Oncologist

 

Patricia Oliver

Medical Secretary

 

Paula Robson

Radiotherapy Research Radiographer

 

Kimberley Quinn

Senior Clinical Scientist

 

Emma Thompson

Radiographer

 

Emma Cowan

Radiotherapy nurse

 

Elise Arnett

Radiotherapist

 

James Barber

Radiographer

Kevin Burke

Medical Physicist

 

Andrew Greenhalgh        

Clinical Scientist

 

Edward Beaumont

Therapy Radiographer

 

Gareth Thomas     

Lecturer

           

Helen Curtis

Radiotherapy Physicist

James Cook University Hospital

 

Jayne Matthews   

Therapy Radiographer

 

Deborah East         

Therapeutic Radiographer

Addenbrookes

 

Christopher Jackson        

Dosimetrist

 

Neil Livingstone

Radiotherapy Services Manager

The London Clinic

 

Karen Tipples

Consultant Clinical Oncologist

Barts Health

Daniel Love

Medical Physicist

 

Dr Narayanan Nair Srihari

Consultant Clinical Oncologist

 

Michelle Proudfoot         

Therapeutic Radiographer

 

Mariam Kalsoom  

Therapy Radiographer

 

Bernadette Mortiboy     

Therapeutic Radiographer

 

Ben Dixon   

Medical Physicist

Joanna Thompson

 

Diane Lister

 

Catherine Mercer

 

Asia Sarwar

 

Geraldine Seed

 

Melanie Brown

 

John Derrick

 

Caroline Hailstone

Lauren Mercer

 

Rosie Hales

 

Keeley Rosbottom

 

Simon Goldsworthy

 

Keith Harland

 

Kathy Shearer

 

Jonathan McMillan

 

Talal Mansy

Consultant Medical Oncologist

 

Joanna Reynolds  

Superintendent Radiographer 

Radiotherapy and Oncology James Cook University Hospital

 

Elizabeth Jenkins  

Radiographer

 

           

Dr Albert Edwards

Consultant Clinical Oncologist 

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust

 

David Bradbrook  

Radiotherapy Radiographer

           

Jakub Thornley     

Therapeutic Radiographer

Leeds Teaching Hospital

 

Wendy Goldshaker          

Therapeutic radiographer         

GSTT

 

Ruqayyah Sarang  

Radiotherapy Practitoner         

 

Sarah Pritchard     

Macmillan Dietitian

           

Curtis Parker-Milnes

Senior Therapeutic Radiographer      

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

 

Sophie Terry

Therapeutic Radiographer        

Portsmouth NHS Trust

                       

Ceri Nichola Jamieson    

Therapeutic Radiographer

           

Lucinda Melcher  

Consultant Clinical Oncologist 

North Middlesex Hospital

 

 

Emma Crozier        

Therapeutic Radiographer        

Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust

 

Ravi Desai   

Therapeutic Radiographer

                                   

Sue Thompson       

Teacher

           

Jen Anthony

Radiographer

           

Susan Shaw

Therapeutic Radiographer

UHS

                       

Steve Blake

Clinical Scientist

           

Helen Cullimore   

Radiotherapy Radiographer     

UHBW

           

Jenny Poole

Radiographer        

Southampton Hospital

 

Jeanette Collings  

Macmillan Support Radiographer

           

Natasha Wallbank

Radiotherapist

Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust

 

Emma Jade Bennett        

Therapy Radiographer   

North Wales Cancer Treatment Centre

 

Alys Catherine Williams 

Therapeutic Radiographer

           

Hannah Brown      

Therapeutic Radiographer        

Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust

 

Carolyn O'Donovan          

Radiotherapy Service Manager

University Hospitals of North Midlands

 

Kathryn Morrison

Therapeutic Radiographer        

NHS

 

Gaynor Wardle                 

Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, Lingen Davies Cancer Centre

 

Emma Scully

Therapeutic Radiographer

           

Liz Crees

Physicist

           

Debbie Holmes     

Clinical Scientist   

 

Lily Brereton          

Therapeutic Radiographer        

JCUH

 

Wendy Roberts     

Retired Radiotherapy Radiographer

 

           

Helen Bayles          

Therapy Radiographer   

 

Stuart Tomlinson  

Radiotherapy Physicist  

Northampton General Hospital

           

Paul Andrew Evans          

Head of Radiotherapy Physics 

Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust

 

Paula Powell          

Treatment Lead Therapeutic Radiographer

                       

Neil Dancer

Head of Radiotherapy Physics 

 

Lauren Brown        

Radiotherapy Radiographer

           

Gita Bhanvra          

Therapeutic Radiographer

           

Hywel Rogers        

Lecturer      

 

Christopher Quinn

Radiotherapist

           

Darren Thompson

Clinical Scientist   

South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

 

Styliani Savva        

Clinical Scientist                           

 

Dr Richard Simcock          

Consultant Clinical Oncologist 

Brighton and Sussex Medical Schools

           

Melissa Lovegrove

Advanced Planning Radiographer      

Royal Free Hospital

                       

Peter Goldie          

Radiotherapy Physicist

 

Janice Merryfield

Senior Therapy Radiographer

Elaine Dancer        

Therapeutic Radiographer

                                   

Louise Killey

Therapeutic Radiographer                                

 

Janette Rawlinson

Lung cancer patient advocate NHSE CEG, BTOG SC, WMCA LC EAG patient rep, NCRI lung subgroup consumer member, CCG Cancer steering group member and lay member

 

Kobika Sritharan   

Clinical Oncology Registrar                               

 

 Jean Tremlett        

Radiographer        

Brighton and Sussex University hospitals NHS trust

                       

Jannath S Kottakunnan  

Therapeutic Radiographer

 

Francesca Eden

Radiotherapy Radiographer

 

Ollie Minton

Consultant

BSUH

 

Andrew Jepson

Senior Radiographer

 

Dr Rema Jyothirmayi

Consultant Oncologist

Kent Oncology Centre, Maidstone Hospital

Anna Britten          

Consultant Radiation Oncologist        

Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust

           

Ellie Mills    

Therapy Radiographer   

 

Paul Bartley

Superintendent Radiographer 

James Cook University Hospital

 

Hannah Tharmalingam   

Consultant Clinical Oncologist 

Mount Vernon Cancer Centre

           

Joanne Hope          

Registered Nurse 

 

Suzanne Hill

Radiographer        

Torbay and South Devon Foundation Trust

 

Bojidar Goranov

Consultant Clinical Oncologist 

University Hospitals of Plymouth NHS Trust

 

Alice Brain  

Senior Clinical Scientist  

 

Kayleigh Lett-Logue        

Therapeutic Radiographer

                                   

Kathy Kylilis Therapy

Radiographer        

Christie

 

Steven Floyd          

Radiographer

           

Helen Elizabeth Davey   

Therapy Radiographer   

BCHUB

 

Jenny Callender    

Therapeutic radiographer         

University of Liverpool

 

Sangeeta Mannion          

Therapeutic Radiographer        

Guys and St Thomas

 

Rosie Clark 

Nurse in Radiotherapy   

Leeds Teaching Hospitals

 

Helen Louise Wem           

Therapeutic Radiographer        

University of Bradford

 

Kate McBurney     

Radiographer        

Brighton and Sussex University Hospital

 

Elizabeth Toy         

Consultant Clinical Oncologist 

 

Natalie Ing  

Therapy Radiographer   

 

Clair York    

Dosimetrist Radiographer        

Northampton General Hospital

 

Fiona Fisher

Diagnostic radiographer

Portsmouth Hospitals Trust

 

Paula Mulvenna   

Consultant clinical oncology

           

Kelly Hobbs

Therapeutic Radiographer

Keisha Robinson

Radiographer          

 

Steph King

 

Angela Lane

 

Sanal Jose    

Therapeutic Radiographer

 

Carolyn Morris       

Cancer patient advocate, past lay member national and local radiotherapy  groups

 

Andrew James Williams  

Radiotherapy lecturer

 

 

Dr Jackie Sham       

Consultant Clinical Oncologist

 

Victoria Harris        

Consultant Clinical Oncologist

 

Alison Blower 

SABR Lead Superintendent Radiographer 

South Tees NHS

Sarah Robinson      

Dosimetrist

            

Shadab Ahmad       

Radiationtherapist            

Shri Ram Murti Smarak Institute of Medical Sciences

 

Renay Joss   

Therapy Radiographer

            

Amy Dodd    

Therapeutic Radiographer

            

Krupesh Haria         

Therapeutic Radiographer and Policy Advisor         

NEL CSU

 

Erin McMonnies    

Therapeutic Radiographer

            

Dr Juliet Brock        

Consultant Clinical Oncologist  

BSUH

 

Emma Charman     

Therapy Radiographer     

GHNHSFT

 

Amy Ah-Moye        

Clinical Oncology Registrar        

                        

Cherie Mary Sycamore    

Superintendent - Pre-Treatment - Retired    

Addenbrooke's - Cambridge University Hospital

 

Carley Rowe            

Lung Cancer MSW

            

Margaret Mclean  

Principal Therapy Radiographer           

James Cook University Hospital

 

Rebecca Murray

Radiographer

 

Dr Kate Lankester 

Consultant in Clinical Oncology

Colin John Brewer 

Clinical Technologist Radiotherapy

 

Janice Reid 

Radiographer 

RSH Shrewsbury

 

Adrian Christopher Moss 

Consultant Medical Oncologist 

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals

Professor Karol Sikora

Consultant Oncologist and Chief Medical officer

Timothy Sevitt        

Consultant Clinical Oncologist  

Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust

 

Dr Pippa Lewis        

National Radiotherapy Clinical Fellow           

 

Siobhan Graham    

Head of Radiotherapy      

Queens Hospital Romford

 

Eileen Pearson       

Therapy Radiographer     

Guys & St Thomas

 

Maryanne Okubanjo 

Clinical Research Radiographer 

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS trust

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Action Radiotherapy is comprised of radiotherapy professionals who, while working to treat patients, also volunteer their time to us. We want to say a huge THANK YOU to these, often forgotten, frontline workers - the Therapeutic Radiographers, the physicists and the clinicians.

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