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Harlow MP looks to set up Young Cancer Patient Travel Fund

News / Fri 7th Dec 2018 at 10:37am

ROBERT Halfon, MP for Harlow, hosted a meeting today with Health Minister, Steve Brine, and representatives from cancer charity, CLIC Sargent, to discuss the possibility of setting up a Young Cancer Patient Travel Fund which would assist with the cost of travel to cancer treatment centres in England.

CLIC Sargent’s Cancer Costs research suggests that families in Harlow can spend as much as £161.58 a month to travel to specialist treatment centres, such as Great Ormond Street Hospital, at intensive times of treatment. Under the current NHS’s Healthcare Travel Costs Scheme, just 6% of families across the UK receive financial support with their travel costs.

The meeting comes after Robert raised the cost of travel for cancer patients with Theresa May during Prime Minister’s Questions in October, asking for a meeting to discuss setting up a Young Cancer Patient Travel Fund.

During the meeting with the Health Minister made assurances that he will work with CLIC Sargent and Robert Halfon to raise the issue in the health system, namely, with NHS England.

Robert Halfon said: “I’ve been working hard, campaigning with CLIC Sargent to end this social injustice. It is wrong that families and children with cancer have such high travel costs.

“It was a good meeting with the Minister today and I will continue to campaign in Parliament to get this changed.”

Clare Laxton, Associate Director of Policy and Influencing at CLIC Sargent: “We just had a really positive meeting with the Minister.

“He really recognised the issues that we were talking about and the problems that it causes for children and young people with cancer and their families and the impact that it could have on their outcomes as well.

“So, we’re really pleased that he understands the issue, is really supportive of it and has taken it on and has agreed to discuss it with NHS England to try and find a solution.”

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