Rutherford Health, a leading independent provider of advanced cancer care in the UK, has announced it has offered its treatment and diagnostic services to the National Health Service on a not-for-profit basis for the next three years.
The offer has been made to help address delays being encountered by cancer patients due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Rutherford operates cancer centres located in Northumberland, Liverpool, Thames Valley and South Wales and its subsidiary Rutherford Diagnostics operates a community diagnostics hub in Taunton, in partnership with Somerset NHS Foundation Trust.
The offer of services includes MRI and CT scans, ultrasound services, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy and proton beam therapy. The ‘Cancer Recovery Contract’ proposal would provide thousands of treatment and diagnostic sessions, creating additional capacity for the NHS to utilise as it deals with the extensive backlog of cancer patients.
Dr. Mark Jackson, chairman of Rutherford Health, said: “The cancer backlog has been identified by government and the healthcare sector as a major challenge facing the country. There is capacity within the independent sector and our offer to the NHS would be viable due to economies of scale.
“The Prime Minister made clear the scale of the challenge we all face during his visit to our diagnostic centre in Taunton last week and the Secretary of State for Health has stated that utilising the independent sector can help. For patients, the most important thing is that they are cared for as soon as possible.”
Sean Sullivan, chief executive officer of Rutherford Health, said: “We already work closely with various NHS Trusts in providing services and feedback we have had from patients has been tremendously positive. This offer creates the opportunity to utilise additional capacity which we believe would be of benefit to patients.”