"Postcode lottery on drugs funding is so unfair"

About: NHS East Midlands Queen's Hospital, Burton Upon Trent / General surgery

(as the patient),

I was diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2002 and have chose to have my treatment here at Burton as they did not have the proposed treatment in Derby.

All of the oncology nurses are very kind and due to the ongoing treatment here, four of the nurses have become great friends who I have built a lovely relationship with.

The most annoying thing for me is the fact that due to my postcode, I am unable to have a particular drug that I have been recommended by Dr Cheti, who has been fantastic. The cancer drug is available in the West Midlands where Dr Cheti is based but also works at Burton. However as I come under East Midlands, I was declined to use the drug last October as they do not support it.

I am very upset at the fact that it all depends on where I live as to whether I can have a drug that will improve my health. I personally know of friends who have used a Birmingham postcode so that they could be entitled to the drug. I have even considered renting a property in Birmingham.

Another option I have looked into is to pay for the drug myself, however I have been informed that I would then be classed as a private patient and be required to pay for all costs associated with this too.

It is very unfair that I have had to beg my PCT for funding, however I have a further meeting with them this week to find out if I have been given the funding.

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Response from Adam Prince, Corporate Development Officer, Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for your comments. Burton Hospitals is currently looking into your comment and will be posting a thorough response as soon as possible.

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Response from Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for your kind words regarding the Oncology department. Patient satisfaction and well-being is at the forefront of every decision we make so it is excellent to read that you have built up such strong relationships with the staff at Burton Hospitals.

I’m sorry to read about your trouble in gaining access to your preferred choice of drug. Unfortunately this is a national issue and one that Burton Hospitals continues to raise through our cancer network.

My advice would be to seek further information from this website: http://www.eastmidlands.nhs.uk/cancer-drugs-fund/ and also to make contact with Derbyshire County PCT (01246 231255) and the Derby / Burton Cancer Research Network.

Laura Joy, Lead Nurse / Manager Cancer Services

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