health

Life-saving cancer treatment being ‘rationed’ as NHS struggles with staff shortages


PATIENTS with advanced or terminal cancer are reportedly being denied life-extending treatment because of a staff shortage. 

One of England’s largest trusts has admitted rationing is taking place that could result in depriving people with incurable cancer of extra weeks and months with their family and friends. 

Fears are growing about the impact of the driver shortage crisis on cancer patients

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Fears are growing about the impact of the driver shortage crisis on cancer patientsCredit: Getty – Contributor

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust told the Daily Telegraph it was urgently trying to fill vacant posts.

It said it hoped to be able to offer chemotherapy to everyone who needed it by some stage next month.

Experts also believe there are an estimated 19,500 people living with undiagnosed cancer because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It came as a report predicted that even if oncology departments increase the number of patients they see by five per cent, the cancer treatment backlog will take more than a decade to clear.

There is an overall record backlog of about 5.5 million people.

Boris Johnson warned this month NHS waiting lists would “get worse before they get better”.

A spokesman for Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust said vacancies and long-term staff sickness were contributing to the crisis.

It said it was continuing to provide chemotherapy to patients who benefit most from the treatment.

“We are deeply sorry for the concern and upset this has caused,” the trust said.

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