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NHS: Medical Treatments

Volume 508: debated on Monday 29 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his Department's policy is on access to proton beam therapy for NHS patients; and if he will make a statement. (322531)

At this time, proton beam therapy for NHS patients is nationally commissioned overseas. The National Commissioning Group established a proton therapy clinical reference panel in April 2008 to advise on suitable cancer cases to be referred overseas for treatment.

The National Specialised Commissioning Team (NSCT) have been asked to move to the next stage in the development of proton beam therapy services in this country by holding a competition to identify a possible provider or providers of proton beam services in England and developing a full business case.

The Department is currently working with the NSCT to evaluate early proposals from eight trusts and identify a short-list of potential providers. A business case will then be developed for submission to the Treasury.