'A HUGE amount of local concern' has been generated by a decision to strip Oxford's Churchill Hospital of the contract to provide cancer scans across the Thames Valley.

Anneliese Dodds, the MP for Oxford East, wrote to a health minister urging the plan to outsource the service to private firm InHealth is stopped immediately.

Oxford University Hospitals' doctors said NHS England has awarded the contract to provide PET-CT scans to hundreds of patients a year to the firm despite it running the service since 2005.


Critics say InHealth will not be as able to provide as good a service as the NHS. The Churchill is considered to be a world class centre for cancer services.

Ms Dodds wrote to Lord Prior: "This kind of privatisation without further public consultation led by the NHS is not just a concern for the citizens of Oxford but also for the provision of public health services in general.

"The matter was neither brought to the governors' relevant committees to information about this potential risk to the existing scan service for patients, nor was any public information provided or the public consulted on the issue."

She added: "Given the potential threats to the PET-CT-SCAN service provision at OUH, increase public scrutiny and consultation are imperative, as well as a pause in procurement until patient safety and other consequences are examined."