MP backing homeless cancer sufferer over treatment

Andrew Stonestreet
Andrew Stonestreet

EAST Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton has said there is “no reason” for funding disputes concerning a homeless man’s battle against cancer.

As reported in the Herald in February, anal cancer sufferer Andrew Stonestreet, 50, was left feeling desperate after NHS West Sussex, the area’s primary care trust, rejected funding for brachytherapy treatment just two days before he was due to receive it. Since then, he has also had a second appeal from his consultant rejected, and now faces the possibility of living the rest of his life with a colostomy bag.

Now, Mr Loughton has said he will back Andrew’s case, on financial grounds, after £200million was set aside by the government for the specialist treatment of cancer.

Mr Loughton said: “I originally read about Andrew in the Herald, and after he came to me, I wrote to the PCT in the hope of determining whether the grounds for its decision were based on clinical evidence or its financial situation.

“If the PCT does have evidence there would be more suitable treatment for Andrew based on his medical case, there is not much I can do.

“However, if it is to do with funding I can, and will, take this further. There is no reason the funding should not be there following the £200million injection by the government.”

Mr Loughton added: “I have been successful with such cases in the past, so we shall wait and see what they say. Sometimes, the treatment the PCT offers as an alternative is more expensive than the originally proposed treatment.”

Andrew, who has had a history of alcoholism and lives at homeless hostel Delaney House in Selden Road, Worthing, said the MP’s backing has given him new hope.

“It’s nice to finally have someone of authority listen to me,” he said. “I am so fed up of this whole thing, I want to get better and get on with my life. Hopefully, Mr Loughton can help me do that.”