AN Oxford MP has called for an investigation into NHS England’s decision to hand a contract for vital cancer scans to a private firm without any scanners in Oxford.

MP for East Oxford Anneliese Dodds has made a formal complaint to the NHS after national health chiefs opted to take PET-CT scanning services away from the Churchill Hospital and instead award a new contract to InHealth - a move which has now been halted after the privatisation deal was referred to Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

Read again: Plans to privatise cancer scans referred to secretary of state

However, Ms Dodds has now questioned NHS England’s whole contract scoring process which local doctors have already branded as ‘faulty’.

The Labour MP suggested the awarding of a scanning contract to a ‘firm which lacked its own scanning facilities in Oxford’ was ‘peculiar’.

Oxford Mail:

According to the NHS, InHealth had intended to strike a deal to use PET-CT (Positron Emission Tomography–Computed Tomography) scanners at the private GenesisCare cancer treatment centre in Littlemore.

Read also: Decision to privatise vital cancer scans could be delayed as outrage grows

Ms Dodds said: “I have done so in order to facilitate requesting the NHS and Parliamentary Ombudsman to open up an investigation into this case.”

The intervention comes after Ms Dodds revealed staff had been threatened with legal action if they criticised the new arrangements on the grounds of care quality.

The special scanners provide an accurate 3D image of inside the patient’s body and are used in diagnosis and to monitor the success of treatment.

Read again: Oxford's World-leading Churchill Cancer Centre marks 10 year anniversary

However, doctors had warned that neither the state-of-the-art facilities used at the Churchill, nor the expertise of the staff, would be matched by InHealth.

Oxford Mail:

Meanwhile Lib Dem MP Layla Moran has urged the Secretary of State to visit the PET-CT facility at the Churchill Cancer Centre as he prepares to look into NHS England’s decision to privatise the scanning service.

The MP for West Oxford and Abingdon said Mr Hancock 'has to see for himself' the ‘excellent PET-CT service’ offered by the NHS at the Churchill.

Oxford Mail:

She added: “I think it’s absolutely necessary that now the Government can intervene in the process Matt Hancock must meet experts at the Churchill as well as visit patents, doctors and residents about this vital service."