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Radiotherapy (Havering)

Volume 404: debated on Tuesday 29 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will make a statement on radiotherapy services at Oldchurch hospital in the London borough of Havering; [109502](2) if he will make a statement on the availability of radiotherapy to patients living in the London borough of Havering; [109501]

(3) if he will make a statement on the waiting times for radiotherapy in (a) Oldchurch hospital, Havering and (b) St. Bartholomew's hospital, City of London. [109504]

Waiting times for radiotherapy are not collected centrally.The national health service is making an unprecedented investment in new radiotherapy facilities, streamlining care processes through the cancer services collaborative and working to best utilise the current work force and to increase the number of staff in post and in training.Barking, Havering and Redbridge National Health Service Trust, with the support of local primary care trusts, has taken a number of steps to improve access to radiotherapy services, including:

a refurbished linear accelerator at Oldchurch hospital;
developing and implementing a recruitment and retention strategy for therapy radiographers;
achieving accreditation from the Society of Radiographers to become a training centre for student radiographers; and
invested in new equipment to provide superficial radiotherapy treatment allowing patients to have the option of being treated locally rather than in Central London.