Coventry & Warwickshire

Warwickshire man seeks cancer treatment 'justice'

Adrian Ashby
Image caption Adrian Ashby said there was a "postcode lottery" over cancer treatment

A man from Warwickshire who has a rare form of cancer is to pay for part of the treatment himself after friends raised more than £15,000.

Adrian Ashby, 49, from Alcester, is appealing against a local NHS decision in February which refused funding for a form of radiation therapy.

He said the radionuclide therapy, costing up to to £50,000, could extend his life by two years.

The NHS cluster responsible said it could not comment on individual cases.

A spokesman for NHS Arden Cluster, which has this week been replaced by three clinical commissioning groups, said all requests for treatments not routinely commissioned were carefully considered by a panel of clinicians.

He said an appeal process was in place and there were also other possible routes to funding, including a request to the West Midlands Cancer Drugs Fund.

'Nowhere to go'

Mr Ashby said the letter from NHS Coventry and Warwickshire refusing funding for radionuclide therapy had been difficult to accept.

"It sent me to a low I've never had before, even worse than being diagnosed with cancer," he said.

"It's the last treatment available to me, there's nowhere else to go and when specialists say you've got to have this, you don't expect it to be refused."

Diagnosed with carcinoid syndrome seven years ago, he was told by doctors at the time he had between three and five years to live.

He currently has tumours on his liver, stomach, bowel and elsewhere.

He said fundraising efforts by friends, and even total strangers, in Alcester had moved him "to tears".

In less than two months more than £15,000 had been raised through charity boxes and a range of events, including photo shoots and music nights.

First treatment

Further events and an online auction are also planned over the next few weeks.

"It's the only thing that's given me the strength to carry on," Mr Ashby said.

"One way or another I'll get the treatment, even if it eventually means I'll have to sell my house. Thankfully the fundraising means I don't have to do that quite yet."

Money so far raised by the Adrian Ashby League of Friends means that he expects to undergo his first course of radionuclide therapy by the end of May.

Describing the decision in February as "unjust", Mr Ashby said his consultants at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham have lodged an official appeal to the new clinical commissioning group.

He said if the money is refunded by the NHS, he will donate it to cancer charities.

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