Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Christie Hospital

The Christie Hospital in southern Manchester is the foremost treatment centre of adult and late "teenage" (sorry, Lucia) cancer in the north-west of England. My sister-in-law received treatment there and now my friend Rosie is being seen to there.

The hospital recently lost £6.1 million in the Icelandic banking system collapse. Most of this sum came from charitable donations. The government has set up a compensation scheme for those effected by the collapse, considering each application on a case-by-case basis. It has refused the Christie Hospital application.
See the Christie Hospital press release here.

Although two planned "out-station" radiotherapy units in Salford and Oldham are not threatened, several important cancer research projects are unlikely to proceed.

There is an online petition on the Prime Minister's 10 Downing Street website protesting this decision. If you are a UK citizen, please sign it. Two parliamentary Early Day Motions (1037 and 1043) have been tabled about this. I note the Liberal Member of Parliament for my constituency has lent his support to the Christie campaign.

There is also Downing Street petition about the UK Bone Marrow Registry (sign up before April 6). Given the support Secretaries of State for Health, and for Children, Education and Families, as well as the Prime Minister's, for the late Adrian Sudbury's campaign for bone marrow donor education in schools and the DoH's cancer reform strategy, I am (not-) surprised at their negative attitude to the Christie Hospital application for compensation.

Unconnected Afterword: as a longtime (and still) socialist, I am rather impressed by my Liberal MP. As well as responding positively to my requesting he sign EDMs 754 and 900 regarding cancer, I am cynical that his delay in signing EDM 900 was due to his attendance at a UN meeting in Geneva on human rights in Kashmir. My cynicism? Many of his constituents are of Kashmiri-origin and his support of the Palestinian cause because they are Muslim. Anyway, I am happy that he has made cancer one of his "causes" (can I claim credit for that?).

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