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Health Minister responds to radiotherapy petition

10 December 2021

The Minister for Health and Social Services has responded to a petition calling for Radiotherapy treatment to be provided in Jersey.

Deputy Richard Renouf had asked officers within his department to develop a full business case to examine the issue prior to the launch of the petition.

He said: "I have requested a full business case to consider the possibility of providing Radiotherapy on-island because I wish to bring this to Jersey if it is safe for patients and we can afford to do so."

"The possibility of offering radiotherapy on-island is something which I am keen to investigate and for this reason, scoping work to be developed into a full business case is being carried out. This will include details of what the investment would need to be, location of a radiotherapy centre and the recruitment which would need to take place to expertly staff and run the centre."

This business case is due to be presented to the Minister by the end of March 2022.

Deputy Renouf added: "The department is aware of the negative impact of off-island travel for treatment Islanders need when they are already coping with an illness, which is an emotional time for patients and their loved ones. Sometimes, there can be waiting times for off-island treatment which can add extra stress at an already worrying time.

"All of this has to be carefully balanced with the fact that the provision of radiotherapy is an area of medicine which requires great clinical expertise, and Islanders currently undergo treatment in the UK at a specialist centre, to ensure their treatment is carried out at the highest level."

Currently, approximately 150 patients from Jersey a year receive radiotherapy in the UK and it is known that some patients choose not to undergo that treatment because of the difficulties of travel and separation from their families.

Deputy Renouf said: "It is important to note that should a radiotherapy service be offered in the future in Jersey, some patients would still need to be referred for treatment in the UK, including patients being treated for head and neck cancers. This is because the treatment of those cancers is very specialist and therefore must be provided in a specialist centre.

"We want patients to get their treatment on-island where possible, but we need to make sure that treatment is safe and resilient, it is high quality and the outcome for patients is as good as anywhere else. "

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