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SIRT access under threat through CtE process

19th Jan to 31st Mar 2017

In June 2013 NHS England agreed to fund 660 patients in England who had failed, or were intolerant to chemotherapy, access to SIRT treatment of liver metastases from bowel cancer and bilary tract tumours.

Funding was provided through the Commissioning through Evaluation (CtE) scheme which provided interim funding for SIRT for a set period during which the NHS would gather data about the outcomes of patients undergoing the treatment.  This data would be used to inform a decision about whether to continue funding SIRT through NHS England’s routine commissioning processes.


NHS England has notified the NHS that the CtE process is complete and it will stop providing interim funding for SIRT through CtE at the end of March 2017.   There is no clear timeline and process for NHS England – informed by an analysis of the CtE data that it will ask NICE to carry out – to make a decision about routine commissioning for SIRT.


This pause in funding will prove detrimental to both patients and clinicians.

According to a statement by David Mowat MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health, the decision-making process could take up to two years, and there is no definitive timeline.

If NHS England’s decision stands, patients will not be able to benefit from SIRT while a decision about routine commissioning is made. The delay will have an enormous impact on clinicians and the 10 centres across the UK, since the multidisciplinary teams involved will be de-skilled and the expert skills of interventional radiologists associated with the preparation and delivery of the technology will be lost.


There is already substantial evidence supporting the benefits of SIRT in patients with liver metastases from bowel cancer and this planned gap in provision is unfair to patients.


BSIR is asking NHS England, as a matter of urgency, to provide interim funding to ensure continuity of service provision from April 2017.  We are also asking NHS England to develop a faster process so that a decision about routine commissioning for SIRT can be made as soon as possible.

You can help us to keep SIRT available by:

  • Writing to your local MP using template letter in News section


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