‘NHS has given me a death sentence’ says Dunstable gran

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A grandmother has accused faceless NHS bureaucrats of condemning her to death after they refused to fund £8,000 worth of lifesaving treatment.

Carol Colman, 69, who who lives in the London Road area of Dunstable, said: “It seems my life is worth less than a second-hand car.

“On the day I was told I’d been turned down for cyberknife therapy, there was a story in the paper about two doctors who’d been awarded £1million in redundancy then rehired at £120,000 for four months’ work. Well I say sausages to that – I’m not going to go out without a fight.

“I’ve already contacted the Prime Minister, and my MP Andrew Selous has written four letters on my behalf. And if necessary I’ll stand outside a supermarket and ask 8,000 people to give me £1 each.”

The former office worker had her left kidney removed at the Luton&Dunstable Hospital in 2012 after being diagnosed with cancer.

She had a second operation a year later, but the tumour has returned in the same place. Now her surgeon believes cyberknife therapy – an advanced form of radiotherapy which pinpoints a tumour’s exact location – would help prolong her life.

Carol said: “I’ve always been a positive person. My first reaction after I was diagnosed was ‘How do we get rid of this?’ I never sat down and cried. I just thought ‘Let’s get on with it.’

“But now I feel the tumour’s like a ticking time bomb inside me, just waiting to go off.”

And she asked: “How can I be sentenced to death by people who’ve never seen me, who don’t even know me? How can they ignore my consultant who says this is what I need?”

A spokesperson for NHS England (Midlands & East) said: “While we are unable to comment on individual cases, we do understand the difficulties patients living with life-changing conditions and their families go through.

“Stereotactic radiosurgery (including cyberknife) is available for patients with specific medical conditions and is the subject of several clinical commissioning policies, which outline the funding criteria of this treatment.

“If an individual patient falls outside these, their doctor can apply through the Individual Funding Request (IFR) process.

“This can only be given on the basis that the patient is clinically exceptional to others who might also request the treatment.”

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