A private cancer clinic has busted after an offer to help the NHS get epidemic backlogs into deaf ears.
Rutherford Health Group, which operates five cancer services in England and Wales, has announced that it has applied for liquidation.
Owners have blamed the double whammy of missing cancer cases due to the epidemic, which has fewer patients, with a lack of interest from the NHS to use the private sector to address cancer care waiting lists.
Professor Carol Sikora, founder of Rutherford Health, wrote to the NHS and government officials in December proposing additional cancer screenings and treatments for patients in England and Wales.
The nonprofit has been proposed in response to growing fears of missing cancer cases and failure to meet treatment deadlines on the NHS.
Speaking today, Sean Sullivan, interim chief executive for Rutherford Health, said: “We made a number of proposals to the NHS, and some of the agreements we secured were inadequate and we could not secure the plants to speed up the process.”
“It put a serious financial strain on the business and we had no choice but to liquidate the group.”
Charities say the news indicates a “worrying” time when patient care has been disrupted and calls for immediate relocation.
Professor Carol Sikora, founder of Rutherford Health, sent a proposal to the Department of Health and NHS England in December for cancer screening and treatment for patients in England and Wales. Photo: Rutherford Health Cancer Center in Newport, South Wales. The company also has centers in Reading, Liverpool, Newcastle and Taunton
Earlier this year, Professor Sikora told MailOnline that he was “deeply disappointed” that UK healthcare owners did not accept the offer to provide cancer screening and treatment on a non-profit basis.
About 50 private patients are in Rutherford Health’s book as the company slows operations over the past few months in anticipation of closure.
About 280 Rutherford health workers are also expected to lose their jobs.
The NHS has hit out at Rutherford Health for claiming that cancer clinics did not provide the services needed to address backlogs.
Mr Sullivan said another factor behind the liquidity was that fewer cancer patients were diagnosed as a result of the epidemic.
“Covid has been particularly detrimental to us because few patients have shown side effects during the lockdown, and as a result, cancer diagnosis has been delayed and, sadly, missed in many cases,” he said.
“This means that the number of cancer patients in our centers is declining.”
Earlier this year, Rutherford Health founder Professor Carol Sikora revealed that he had offered to help the NHS with more cancer patients on a non-profit basis.
NHS cancer diagnosis and treatment targets have reached record lows in the vast majority of post-epidemic metrics and with one exception, which has no targets, all healthcare operations are below the standard.
England’s cowardly backlog in cancer care will continue for another five years without immediate action, a leading cancer philanthropist has warned. The graph shows: the number of patients receiving less than the first cancer treatment since the onset of the epidemic (red line) and how long it will take for treatment to continue at the current pace (dotted red line), increase to 5 percent at pre-pandemic levels (less green line) or 10 percent increase in pre-epidemic levels (little blue line)
Dr. who lives on the NHS England Cancer Board. “I don’t think 85 percent of cancer patients will start treatment within two months until next spring,” said Liz Bishop. Healthcare’s own guidelines require that at least 17 of the 20 people receiving an immediate GP referral for cancer must begin treatment within 62 days. But the target – which was set in 2009 – has not been met since 2015 and fell to a record low of 61.8 percent in January.
Although it already has some agreements with local NHS trusts to take in some patients, the group says it wants to expand to help with the ‘national backlog in cancer diagnosis and treatment’.
At the time, it said it would provide cancer diagnosis and treatment services to any patients recommended by NHS doctors. But the offer was not accepted.
The NHS will not reach its goal of returning to pre-covidant stage of cancer waiting for treatment until next March, the health chief warns.
Next year the NHS will still lose significant cancer targets, a senior health official has warned.
Dr. who lives on the National Cancer Board of NHS England. Liz Bishop admitted that she did not think there would be “normal business” until March.
This is despite the government’s promise to return to pre-pandemic levels by the spring of 2023.
This comes after a 1.25 percent national insurance increase, which is set to raise billions for the NHS to recover from the epidemic and improve social care over the next three years.
Bishop’s remarks have been described by experts as a “terrible confession of defeat.”Ansar crisis sets ‘thousands to lose their lives’.
Conservative think tanks have claimed the NHS ‘Go to the Grip’ with Backlog and provide ‘world-leading care’ to the British, who are cashing in ‘more than ever’ on healthcare.
The group said its clinics offer a range of cancer treatments, including high-energy proton beam therapy, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, diagnostic imaging and supportive care services.
Its clinics are in South Wales, Northumberland, Liverpool and the Thames Valley, with a community diagnostic center in Somerset.
The group has spent £ 240 million to build and develop cancer centers.
Rutherford Health said it was currently informing patients about its plans and that the small number of NHS patients it cared for would now be returned to local trusts to end their treatment.
An NHS spokesman told MailOnline Rutherford Health was not in a position to help healthcare despite group pressure.
“Rutherford does not provide the surgical services that the NHS now needs to help resolve waiting lists,” he said.
‘The NHS continues to do its best to ensure that cancer care for patients continues as normal and that anyone affected will be contacted as soon as possible.’
Minesh Patel, head of policy at the philanthropic Macmillan Cancer Support, said it would be a “worrying” time for patients with care interruptions, and that they should be adequately assisted during this time.
‘It is imperative that these patients be able to get the help and care they need immediately, by referring them elsewhere to start or continue their treatment as soon as possible,’ he said.
“The more seamless it is, the better the chances of a cure.”
Cancer charities estimate that 32,000 fewer patients started their first treatment than expected in the two years since the epidemic began.
This is due to the combination of hospitals prioritizing covid over regular care and diagnosis, poor access to GPs during lockouts, and the reluctance of patients to come forward with the virus.
It is estimated that at current treatment rates, it may take up to five years for the NHS to catch cases of cancer that have escaped the epidemic.
Delays in cancer care increase the risk of the disease spreading to other parts of the body, which reduces survival rates and reduces treatment options for patients.
Figures from NHS England show that 67.4 per cent of cancer patients received their first treatment within two months of an urgent referral from their GP in March.
The NHS goal is to treat 85 percent of patients within this time frame.
Last month, NHS England’s National Cancer Board’s Dr. Liz Bishop acknowledged that it was possible healthcare was still missing important cancer targets next year.
When asked at a cancer care program last month if cancer care would return to normal next spring, she said the possibility was unlikely.
‘If you hit 62-day numbers by next March, and 104-day numbers, no. If I’m honest, I don’t think we do, ‘she said.
The enrollment comes in the wake of a 1.25 percent national insurance increase, which is set to raise billions for the NHS to recover from the epidemic and improve social care over the next three years.
Another major cancer benchmark, that 93 percent of patients have to wait just two weeks for an immediate referral for their first counselor appointment, is also missing, with only 80.6 percent of patients having completed this deadline by March.
Breast cancer targets are particularly bad, with 59.5 percent of suspected breast cancer patients seen within just two weeks. NHS guidelines state that 93 percent of these patients should be seen within this time frame.
Despite Health Secretary Sajid Javid’s declaration of a “war on cancer”, the UK’s promise of a ten-year cancer plan to make it the best place in the world to receive care has come to light.
In NHS England’s 2022/23 mandate, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the 62-day backlog should return to pre-epidemic levels by March 2023.
Source: | This article is originally from Dailymail.co.uk