Most of us know someone whose life has been cruelly affected by cancer. That’s why when the pledge by the Prime Minister that all patients would have access to innovative radiotherapy treatment was welcomed.

However, as a report in the Sunday Times indicates implementation of the initiative has been patchy, leading to survival rates for many cancers in the UK lagging behind the European average. Where innovative radiotherapy treatments are available, patients benefit as demonstrated by the figures: some 40% of major cancers are cured by radiotherapy.

It is a poor reflection on the NHS that a pledge made by the Prime Minister within the last two years has not been kept, and the delays in implementation are having a profound effect on the lives of many cancer sufferers and their families.

The problems are compounded by frequent delays in the initial diagnosis and investigation. We all know that the earlier a cancer is diagnosed the better the prospects of a full cure, and yet there are many instances where patients repeatedly report symptoms typical of cancer which are not properly investigated, often with tragic consequences.

Taking legal action in this situation may seem like a drastic step, but it is often a means by which the victim of a delayed diagnosis can provide for their families.