World Cancer Day: All hands on deck to tackle cancer crisis

The UK has to take an ‘all hands on deck’ approach to tackling the cancer crisis. To mark World Cancer Day, Rutherford Health, which operates a network of cancer and diagnostic centres in the UK, said an ‘unprecedented national effort’ is required to address the backlog of cancer treatment and diagnosis which has been aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Rutherford Health plc has offered its treatment and diagnostic services to the National Health Service on a not-for-profit basis for the next three years.

Dr Mark Jackson, chairman of Rutherford Health, said: “We have made an offer of our services to the NHS, which could have the potential to diagnose and treat thousands of patients. We hope this offer is considered quickly. Time is not on anyone’s side given the challenge we face with cancer the effort to deal with this issue can start with more patients having access to treatment and diagnosis immediately. It is crucial that everyone who has something to offer should be working together with government and NHS as part of an intense collaboration.

“If there was ever a time we needed a national effort to tackle what lies before us with cancer – it is now. Everyone has to do their bit.

“Innovative treatments, which includes proton beam therapy, and of course enhancing capacity across early diagnosis is crucial – and the independent sector is here to help. We have treated thousands of NHS patients and remain steadfast in our commitment to treat many thousands more as we work more closely with the NHS.

“A step-change in rapid diagnostic services is the place to begin and there is a real opportunity for the NHS and the independent sector to work together to get to grips with this right away.”