Monday, 25 February 2008

Cancer patients hit by NHS cancer postcode 'lottery'

Cancer patients in Britain are subject to an appalling postcode lottery, damning figures reveal.

Some health trusts spend up to three times as much as others on each patient, with differences as high as £12,000.

The discrepancy means life expectancy for cancer sufferers could vary from region to region.

But in some cases the differences between neighbouring areas are stark, meaning those fighting the illness could get better treatment if they moved just a few streets away.

The figures were revealed by the Conservatives after analysis of official statistics showing the amount of money spent by different Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) on cancer treatment.

Shadow Health Minister Mark Simmonds said: "It's outrageous. The Government's own statistics have revealed a huge postcode lottery in funding for cancer."

According to the figures, Oxfordshire is bottom of the league table with £5,182 per cancer patient per year.

At the top is Nottingham City, where each cancer sufferer gets £17,028 per year.