Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy treatment (FOI)
Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy treatment (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by States of Jersey and published on 15 March 2016.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
Please could you answer the following points:
1. The number of people in the last 10 years who have had to leave Jersey in order to receive radiotherapy treatment. Could you break this down by how long they needed to spend away and at what age the patient was.
2. The number people who received chemotherapy in the last 10 years who needed to leave Jersey broken down by age and time spent away.
3. Could you also provide any information on benefits received from the SoJ to assist with travelling and accommodation charges.
4. What is the feasibility of providing a radiotherapy unit here to cover all islands.
5. What is the cost of the radiotherapy machine and how much would it cost annually to run.
1. Approximately 290 people have travelled abroad for radiotherapy in the past two years. It is not possible to do an accurate count because the data is spread across too many hospitals and too many specialities. The department does not have a unique speciality called radiotherapy. Obtaining data prior to the last two years would require a manual record trawl which would take longer than the maximum limit specified in the Freedom of Information Law regulations.
2. Again, it is not possible to do an accurate count because the data is spread across too many hospitals and too many specialities. The department does not have a unique speciality for chemotherapy. Obtaining this data would require a manual record trawl which would take longer than the maximum limit specified in regulations. However, in the spirit of providing advice and assistance, the Overseas Treatment Team has estimated that 80 patients have travelled abroad for chemotherapy since April 2014.
3. A copy of the Patient Travel Information leaflet is attached and the Patient Travel Policy is available online.
Patient travel to the UK or Guernsey
4. A study exploring the feasibility of providing radiotherapy on Island (using a Linear Accelerator or ‘LINAC’) was completed in January 2015. The study in summary concluded that such a service:
- would not be feasible for Jersey alone
- could only be feasible as a Channel Islands service but would require a 10 year contractual commitment with Guernsey and a significant risk to Jersey should they withdraw after the investment was made
- was limited in its ability to reach a positive return on investment. With maximised activity capture and minimised labour costs the 10 year Net Present Value (NPV) for Jersey activity alone was negative £2.9m and for Jersey plus Guernsey activity combined positive £0.3m
- complex radiotherapy cancer activity would still need to be treated off-Island
- workforce availability on-Island at a time when demand and provision of other diagnostic imaging modalities (CT, MRI and Ultrasound) is likely to rise significantly during the same period as on Island radiotherapy becomes operational. Therapeutic radiotherapy would require the establishment of a completely new skill set for the Island at a time of shortage of such skills in the UK and international labour market
- the technology horizon for cancer care would be uncertain over the lifetime of the investment (build time for the Future Hospital c 7 years plus working life of LINAC c. 7 years) with potential of non-LINAC cancer treatments emerging (e.g. genomics and other targeted personalised diagnostics and therapies, oncology ablation therapies, surgical and interventional oncology, radiopharmaceuticals, intra-operative radiation etc)
In January 2015 Health and Social Services Corporate Directors and the Future Hospital Project Board accepted that an investment in the provision of on-Island radiotherapy presented too much clinical, financial and strategic risk to be supported on the basis of the feasibility analysis undertaken.
5. The NPV capital cost of a basic Linear Accelerator and supplementary equipment is £5.5m. The costs would be higher for a more advanced multifunctional model (depending on configuration and software). The feasibility analysis undertaken assumed a basic LINAC. The running costs included in the feasibility analysis (staffing and other operating costs) were in excess of £1m each year.
Exemptions and/or refusals applied to this request
Some of the information requested has been refused under Article 16 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011. Article 16 allows a scheduled public authority to refuse to supply information if doing so would exceed the costs set out in the regulations.