It comes after this newspaper revealed a fortnight ago how a not-for-profit deal could see 30,000 of the most seriously sick NHS patients fast-tracked for therapies. Daily Express columnist and oncologist Karol Sikora, founder of private provider Rutherford Health, offered his suite of cancer centres to slash waiting lists.
In the letter to No 10, Tim Farron, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group For Radiotherapy, said: “A range of cancer experts warn the backlog could be as high as 87,000-100,000 patients.
Many cancers become incurable if left untreated, with every four weeks of delay leading to a 10 per cent reduction in survival.
“We urge you to work with your ministers to ensure the delivery of a radical new cancer plan that delivers world-class care to all cancer patients in the UK no matter where they live.”
It was signed by MPs from all parties, including the Tories’ Sir John Hayes, Henry Smith and Greg Smith, Labour’s Sir Alan Campbell and Dame Rosie Winterton, and Lib Dem deputy leader Daisy Cooper.
Ms Cooper said: “The Government needs to move Heaven and Earth to tackle the cancer backlog. With 100,000 missed diagnoses through the pandemic we are in a race against time.”
Prof Sikora’s not-for-profit offer – which would be the largest private-public partnership in NHS history – was made on December 21.
But almost four months after being offered to health chiefs it has not been signed.
Prof Sikora said: “The urgency of the cancer crisis is there for all to see.
MPs from across the Commons are demanding less talk and more action – I entirely agree.
Our offer would enable thousands of patients to access our world-class facilities almost immediately.”