25th April 2018
Duncan Lewis Solicitors client promised life-saving cancer treatment in high-profile case
On 24 April 2018, the Royal Marsden Hospital finally committed to giving Duncan Lewis’ client Albert Thompson1 the radiotherapy treatment that he requires to treat his prostate cancer; however the NHS Charging Regulations remain unlawful.
Mr Thompson was first told that he would be likely to need radiotherapy in November 2016, and the treatment was scheduled to start in January 2018. That was until the recent amendments to the NHS Charging Regulations came into force in October 2017.2 As a result of these regulations, in November Mr Thompson was told that he would have to pay for his treatment in advance or prove that he was ordinarily resident in the UK.
Mr Thompson has been a resident in the UK since December 1973. He has National Insurance records, GP records, bank records and benefits records which cover the entire period of his 44 year residence in this country.
Jeremy Bloom, Trainee Solicitor within the Harrow Public Law Team, has been working tirelessly to challenge the application of these Regulations, to regularise Mr Thompson’s status and to ensure that he gets the potentially life-saving treatment that he so urgently needs.
We submitted evidence of Mr Thompson’s residence to the hospital, but they maintained that under the Regulations, they couldn’t give him the treatment they felt was necessary, unless he could demonstrate that he has Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK.
We have since submitted an application to the Home Office to regularise his status, arguing that he should be granted ILR on the basis of his private and family life. The taskforce that has been set up to deal with ‘Windrush’ cases will be interviewing Mr Thompson later this week.
The case has also attracted a lot of attention in Parliament and in the media. The Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn MP has asked two Prime Minister’s Questions about the case, and the Prime Minister Theresa May broke the news that Mr Thompson would be receiving treatment in the House of Commons. When the Prime Minister made this announcement, our client had not been informed about this good news, and it took a few days for details of the treatment to become clear. Chuka Umunna MP raised a point of order in relation to the case, and wrote to the Royal Marsden directly. The case has been wide-reported in the Guardian, BBC news, and ITV.
It still is not clear why the Royal Marsden has decided to treat Mr Thompson given their initial delay and refusal to treat him without proof of residence or advance payment but we are relieved that Mr Thompson will now be receiving his promised radiotherapy treatment.
We still consider that the NHS Charging Regulations to be unlawful and grossly unfair. As long as they remain in force, their application will continue to deny people life-saving treatment despite the fact that they have been here for decades and should be entitled to this treatment on the NHS. We will continue to challenge these regulations.
If you or someone you know has been unlawfully denied treatment on the NHS, please get in touch with us: