Henry Smith MP has called on NHS England to pay the huge travel costs families can face when a child or young person is diagnosed with cancer.
“Dealing with cancer is tough enough without money worries. But cancer costs young cancer patients and their families £600 more every month.
“In addition to the physical and psychological effects of cancer, the financial cost can also have a significant effect on a patient and their support network. As Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Blood Cancer I’m acutely aware of the effect that these pressures can have.
“Financial assistance for travel costs for young cancer patients and their families would go a long way towards supporting those children, young people and families affected by cancer.
“No child or young person with cancer should be unable to access the treatment they need because of the cost of travelling to hospital.”
The Crawley MP wrote to NHS England as part of its consultation on children, teenager and young adult cancer services, sending a copy of his submission to the new Public Health & Primary Care Minister, Jo Churchill MP.
Research by CLIC Sargent found that young cancer patients and their families are travelling twice as far and spending twice as much on travel costs as adults with cancer who can be treated at hospitals nearer to home. They face a 60 mile round trip, on average, to get to treatment. When treatment is at its most intense, this adds up to £180 a month, if travelling five times a week.