A West Lancashire resident undergoing treatment for prostate cancer was turned away from The Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Greater Manchester for not being local, Rosie Cooper MP has found.
The constituent, Reverend Christopher Dunbar, contacted Rosie as he was experiencing a long delay in receiving a scan which he had been told was urgently needed to track the spread of cancer in his body. He was then referred by his GP to The Christie Hospital because they believed the Hospital could provide this scan more quickly.
The Christie, however, responded to Rosie’s letter to say that they had not accepted this referral, as they are unable to offer urgent appointments to patients from outside of their area. They then suggested his healthcare team “contact St Thomas’ Hospital, London to see if they had capacity to accommodate an earlier appointment”.
The West Lancashire MP has raised this matter urgently with regional NHS bosses and the Health Secretary, to ask why all NHS patients aren’t treated equally, and why there is a growing postcode lottery when it comes to health care.
Rosie Cooper MP commented:
“This is just further proof that we have lost the National in National Health Service. My constituent, Reverend Dunbar, was told he needed an urgent scan to track his prostate cancer. After waiting weeks, he asked to be referred to the Christie because he was told they could offer him a scan sooner.
“It is unbelievable that The Christie turned him away simply because he doesn’t live in Greater Manchester. We should be offering appointments based on urgency and need, not geography. I find it disgraceful that the NHS has descended into protectionist kingdoms where each area looks after their own.
“The Christie also suggested he try to get a referral to a Hospital in London instead! Surely, they realise how ridiculous that suggestion is, as London is 150 miles further for my constituent to travel.
“Thankfully, my constituent has now received his scan, but I will be continuing to raise this with the Department for Health and the NHS to ensure everyone can get the care they need, no matter where they live!”