England

Ashya King: NHS to fund Prague proton beam therapy

  • 26 September 2014
  • From the section England
Ashya King arriving at PTC
Image caption Ashya King is undergoing treatment at the Proton Therapy Centre (PTC) in Prague

The NHS has agreed to fund the care of brain tumour patient Ashya King who is undergoing proton beam treatment at a Czech clinic.

The five-year-old has been receiving post-operative radiotherapy at the Proton Therapy Centre (PTC) in Prague since 15 September.

In a statement, NHS England said it was "clearly best" he continued to be treated "uninterrupted".

His 30-session treatment is due to last six weeks.

Ashya's parents, Brett and Naghemeh King, from Southsea, were briefly detained after taking him out of the country for cancer treatment.

They wanted him to have proton beam therapy, which was not recommended by doctors who were originally caring for him at Southampton General Hospital.

Media captionJenny Hill visits the Proton Therapy Centre in Prague

'Cross-border arrangements'

A police hunt was sparked when they removed him from hospital in Southampton on 28 August after disagreeing with doctors.

They were arrested in Spain and spent several days away from their son, reuniting once the Crown Prosecution Service withdrew the European arrest warrant.

The family was flown by private jet to Prague ahead of Ashya's treatment at the PTC.

The NHS statement read: "Our thoughts are with Ashya and his family as he begins follow-on radiotherapy.

"Now that Ashya is in Prague, it is clearly best that Ashya continues to be treated uninterrupted so the NHS has agreed to fund this care, as requested by his parents, in accordance with relevant European cross-border arrangements.

"We all join in wishing him well, and greatly hope he makes a full and successful recovery."

The treatment is a type of radiation therapy that uses beams of protons - or small parts of atoms - rather than high energy X-rays, as with conventional radiotherapy.

Image caption Brett and Naghemeh King were reunited with Ashya at a hospital in Malaga

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