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Medical Treatments Abroad

Volume 506: debated on Thursday 4 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of people referred by NHS commissioners for proton therapy treatment abroad in each of the last five years. (319935)

Proton beam therapy became a nationally commissioned service in April 2008. Prior to this, the service was commissioned by individual primary care trusts (PCTs) and figures are not available on the numbers of patients referred for treatment abroad.

In 2008-09, 24 patients were referred to the proton reference panel for consideration for proton beam therapy treatment. Of these, eight patients were turned down by the panel, six were not treated by the centre for clinical reasons, and 10 patients were treated.

In 2009-10, 67 patients were referred to the proton reference panel. Of these, 30 patients were accepted for treatment: and 17 of them received or are currently receiving treatment during 2009-10. Six patients were accepted by the panel, but were not treated by the centre for clinical reasons and three patients require more surgery before being considered further for proton beam therapy. Nine patients are still being considered by the panel.