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Radiotherapy

Site visits by HPA staff

Radiotherapy contributes to 40 per cent of all cured cancers.  It is estimated that half of all cancer patients will have some form of radiotherapy included in their treatment management, approximately 150,000 a year.  Radiotherapy is also indicated for use in the treatment of some non cancerous conditions.  In 2006, the Chief Medical Officer for England, Sir Liam Donaldson launched a range of initiatives relating to patient safety in radiotherapy which were to involve significant input from the HPA (now Public Health England).

Public Health England exists to provide an integrated approach to protecting UK public health and part of its remit includes the provision of independent advice on radiological practice and radiation safety - including radiotherapy.

As part of this work PHE recruited clinically trained staff to establish a dedicated resource to support the radiotherapy community, making PHE an impartial resource equipped with the knowledge and skills to work in partnership with health care professionals within the clinical radiotherapy setting.

These webpages explain PHE's role in radiotherapy, what we're doing, the areas we are working in and report what is happening within the field.

What is radiotherapy?

Radiotherapy uses high-energy ionising radiation such as x-rays, gamma rays, electrons, neutrons, protons and other sources to cure or relieve symptoms of cancer and reduce the chance of cancer returning after surgery.

›› What is radiotherapy?

Clinical site visits

In 2006, the Chief Medical Officer for England, Sir Liam Donaldson launched a range of initiatives relating to patient safety in radiotherapy.

›› Clinical site visits

Patient safety monitoring

The Annual Report on the State of Public Health in 2006 called for the strengthening of the UK reporting  mechanisms for radiotherapy errors and incidents at both a local and national level. 

›› Patient safety monitoring

Professional activities

HPA staff with radiotherapy expertise work in partnership with the entire radiotherapy community including healthcare professionals, professional bodies, government departments and agencies, and members of the public.

›› Professional activities