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Stereotactic body radiotherapy question raised in the House of Commons

Posted on Feb 08, 2012

Paul Burstow responds to questions about referring people from Northern Ireland for treatment in the UK by reminding the House that Cyberknide is merely a manufacturer's brand name and that there are a number of different radiotherapy treatment machines capable of delivering SBRT that offer greater functionality.

Naomi Long (Belfast East, Alliance) To ask the Secretary of State for Health

(1) how many patients from Northern Ireland have been refused referral for cyberknife treatment in England;

(2) what discussions he has had with his counterpart in Northern Ireland on the referral of cyberknife treatment for patients in Northern Ireland;

(3) how many patients from health trusts outside the Greater London area have been referred for cyberknife treatment;

(4) what discussions he has had with his counterpart in Northern Ireland on the criteria for referring a patient in Northern Ireland for cyberknife treatment in another part of the UK;

(5) what discussions he has had with his counterpart in Northern Ireland on the procedure for transferring a patient in need of cyberknife treatment for treatment in another part of the UK;

(6) how many patients from Northern Ireland have been successfully referred for cyberknife treatment in England.

Paul Burstow (Minister of State (Care Services), Health; Sutton and Cheam, Liberal Democrat) The Secretary of State for Health, my right hon. Friend Mr Lansley, has held no discussions about cyberknife with his counterpart in Northern Ireland and the Department holds no information concerning the referral of patients from Northern Ireland for cyberknife treatment in England.

Cyberknife is the manufacturer's name for a machine. The treatment it delivers is stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (previously known as stereotactic body radiotherapy). There are a number of different machines capable of delivering this treatment in use around the country that offer greater functionality.

Hospital episode statistics (HES) data available to the Department identify the treatments that the national health service provides but do not record the brand of equipment used. In addition to this, on the vast majority of cases, stereotactic ablative radiotherapy cannot be identified from other forms of radiotherapy treatment using HES data.


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