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The SACT capacity crisis in the NHS


The Royal College of Radiologists has been working to address the most pressing problem oncology departments across the UK are facing – a critical lack of capacity to deliver systemic anti-cancer therapies (SACT) to patients.

  • In recent years, demand for SACT has surged. The rate of treatment delivery is rising approximately 6-8% per annum.
  • At the same time, advances in drug discovery have led to a rise in the number of treatments available on the NHS as well as the complexity of these treatments.

Overstretched oncology departments are struggling to keep pace.

  • To meet the increased demand for SACT treatments, oncology departments are having to compromise patient safety and increase pressure on overworked staff.
  • Some departments are having to make difficult decisions over whether to withdraw access to approved treatments or prioritise which patients can receive treatment within an optimal timescale.

The NHS in each nation must take urgent action to ensure that patients are not put at risk of delayed or ineffective care.

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