31 March 2007

NHS Cancer Care

In light of today's story that older women with breast cancer get poorer care than younger women and Thursday's report that two thirds of health staff would not be happy to be a patient in their own NHS trust, I feel I must point you to the NHS Blog Doctor who has today posted A tale of two cancers, which begins:

Mr R and Mrs D live within five hundred yards of each other. They have never met, but they have much in common.

They both have lung cancer with secondary spread.

They were both treated at the respiratory medicine department of the local District General Hospital, and they were both referred to the same radiation oncologist Dr M.

The final thing they have in common is that Dr M has recommended that they should each have a course of Tarceva.
I'll let you go the the good doctor's blog to see how the story develops. As you might fear, however, it doesn't have a happy ending: "After the second consultation, I had to walk up and down the corridor for a while."

No wonder this week saw a leading expert on modern day management of cancer calling for NHS patients to be allowed to top up cancer care in the private sector.