A Voice for Radiotherapy

A Voice for Radiotherapy

We prompted the Government to invest £23 million in a Radiotherapy Innovation Fund raising awareness of radiotherapy services in England.

This means more patients will get access to more advanced, targeted, radiotherapy treatments.

Why we campaigned

Radiotherapy has been proven to help treat more people than chemotherapy. However shortages in staff and equipment, alongside a lack of public awareness, have meant that it isn’t available to everyone.

Our Voice for Radiotherapy campaign aimed to make sure that world-class radiotherapy services are available to everyone. 

We called for all radiotherapy services in England to have:

  • A sufficiently-staffed and highly-trained workforce
  • The best treatments for all cancer patients regardless of where they live
  • The capacity to plan for the future as demand grows and more cancers are diagnosed earlier

Read the evidence behind the campaign on our policy pages.

How we made it happen

We rallied our supporters by collecting signatures in shops, and Cancer Campaigns Ambassadors petitioned in their local areas. In total, we gathered 36,000 petition signatures, which we then presented to the Prime Minister David Cameron MP.

We’ll continue to work with politicians to raise awareness and campaign for investment in more staff and equipment. We want to ensure that all patients have access to world-class radiotherapy.

What we achieved

Our campaign helped the UK move closer towards becoming a leader in cancer treatments.

Since handing in our petition in 2011, the Government has made four significant announcements:

  1. For the first time in five years, the Government published a report on radiotherapy services, assessing the current state of radiotherapy services in England with recommendations for action.
  2. £23 million Radiotherapy Innovation Fund given to radiotherapy centres in England, so they can deliver advanced forms of radiotherapy. Around 5,800 patients will benefit each year as a result.
  3. A £250 million investment from the Government to open two cutting-edge proton beam therapy units in London and Manchester.This treatment is particularly suitable for complex childhood cancers, increasing success rates and reducing side-effects. From 2018, it is predicted the move will benefit 1,500 patients each year as the NHS currently pays for patients to travel abroad for this treatment.
  4. In August 2013, the Government announced an additional £30 million to buy 20 new cutting-edge machines to deliver both standard radiotherapy and the more advanced intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT). This follows recommendations from our report evaluating the impact of the Radiotherapy Innovation Fund  (July 2013).

In 2014 we then worked with NHS England to produce our 'Vision for Radiotherapy' for the next 10 years. You can read more about this in our blog.

More information

Our About Cancer web pages have a wealth of information about radiotherapy.

For more on the Radiotherapy Innovation Fund and what this means for cancer patients, see our science blog.

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