On-Island Radiotherapy Unit Being Investigated

The Health Minister says an on-island radiotherapy unit could be established 'if it's safe and we can afford to'.

Deputy Richard Renouf says it's something he is keen to investigate, in order to reduce the negative impact of having to travel off-island for treatment in the UK.

The Minister says officials have been tasked with drawing up a business case to outline whether it's possible, with a report due to be published by the end of March:

"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."

Around 150 patients from Jersey are sent to Southampton General Hospital to receive radiotherapy.

Image Credit: Think-studios / Wikimedia.Southampton General Hospital

Deputy Renouf says some patients currently decline the treatment because of the difficulties of traveling away from their families:

"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 that 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."

It comes after a petition calling for an on-island radiotherapy service was signed nearly 3,000 times.

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