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Treatment soon for cancer victory man?

PUBLISHED: 12:56 24 July 2008 | UPDATED: 09:03 13 July 2010

Richard Batson

Cancer patient Barry Humphrey, who won a battle for drug funding, is hoping to start his treatment as soon as possible.

The 59-year-old former firemen who has a rare terminal liver cancer heads to Addenbrooke's hospital in Cambridge on Monday to see his specialist.

Cancer patient Barry Humphrey, who won a battle for drug funding, is hoping to start his treatment as soon as possible.

The 59-year-old former firemen who has a rare terminal liver cancer heads to Addenbrooke's hospital in Cambridge on Monday to see his specialist.

He may not be able to start his two month £5,000 course of Sorafenib tablets immediately, but, after winning a funding fight with officials, said he was just keen to “put myself in the hands of the clinicians I trust.”

The North Walsham man's case hit the headlines earlier this week when NHS Norfolk did a u-turn on their earlier refusal of funding, after a damning independent review of the case said the decision was wrong, and the case had been badly handled.

After the tense wait for a decision and resultant media scrum Mr Humphrey and wife Hazel have been taking walks on the coast to clear their heads and trying to get their lives back to as normal as they can be.

She said they just hoped that her husband's condition had not changed during the wait for funding, adding: “Barry could have had this treatment six months ago. It makes me very angry.”

Mrs Humphrey said friends and family were overjoyed with the good news about funding. And 36-year-old deaf-blind daughter Kerry contacted the EDP to say her “wonderful, devoted father” deserved the treatment.

The couple are also watching what happens in the aftermath of their case at the health authority, who had “only got themselves to blame” for the saga.

NHS Norfolk was criticised by its Suffolk counterpart, which did the case review, for not taking into account Mr Humphrey's full circumstances, and for delays and poor communication with the patient.

Today it said it felt its exceptions panel - drawn from medics, retired GPs, public health specialists, nurses and pharmacists - was a robust system making “good decisions on what are often very difficult issues” of clinical and cost effectiveness.

It added it was “already conducting a routine review of our policy and will take into consideration whether our communications might be improved.”


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