Preston man says
patients are getting a raw deal with prostate cancer treatment
TO mark World Cancer Day, a patient who has recently
undergone treatment for prostate cancer has claimed the NHS is giving men in
the UK a raw deal. Lloyd Bantleman has founded the
website to stop men suffering the stress and trauma
when trying to find the right course of treatment for prostate cancer that
Lloyd, who lives in Preston, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in November
2014 and spent 5 months going from his GP to various hospitals for scans and
biopsies to be eventually told by the lead consultant that his best option
was surgery to remove the prostate and then'get on with his life'.
When Lloyd researched the side effects of surgery and radiotherapy, he found
that there was around 50% chance of major bladder and bowel problems
Lloyd came across the Proton Therapy Center as he had heard the story about
Ashya King, the young boy whose parents took him over to Prague for
treatment against UK doctors' advice. Within 2 weeks of finding the website,
he had visited the center where he was given impartial information and
advice about all the options available to him, including Proton Beam
Therapy. Lloyd was impressed by the high success rate of the Proton Therapy
Center and the fact that there was only a very minor risk of suffering side
effects afterwards from this form of radiotherapy. Lloyd spent three weeks
in Prague undergoing five factions of treatment and was back to work a week
after returning home, with no side effects.
Lloyd Bantleman said:- "At no point did the NHS tell me about the
option of Proton Beam Therapy; because it's not currently available for
prostate cancer in the UK. It seems so wrong that particularly British men
get a raw deal when it comes to receiving 21st century cancer treatment.
Even the new proton centres being planned to open in the UK in 2017 will not
treat this very common male cancer."
Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men. Over 42,000 men
are diagnosed every year in the UK and there are around 10,500 deaths occur
from it. 1 in 8 men will get prostate cancer at some point in their
lifetime. And for males of black African or Caribbean descent, the risks are
even higher with 1 in 4 men at risk of developing the disease.
Lloyd continues:- "The best part is that I've had no side effects,
just as the doctors at the center in Prague explained to me, the risks are
very low. When I returned home I was determined to do something to make it
easier for other patients to access the right information, particularly men
who are diagnosed with prostate cancer. I created the website
CompareCancerTreatment.co.uk, which gives independent, impartial information
on cancer treatments and signposts patients to relevant sources of more
information. My reason for setting up this non-profit making website is so
that men and women have access to all the information relating to their type
of cancer, to be able to make an informed judgement. If this helps just one
person to reduce the stress and anxiety caused when seeking treatment for
cancer, then I've achieved what I set out to do."
UK-trained Professor Hiten Patel said:- "Men with prostate cancer now
have a new option with proton therapy; an option that offers a high success
rate as well as a low risk of side effects; and therefore a greater chance
of preserving full quality of life after the conclusion of treatment."
Lloyd is now aiming to raise awareness amongst GPs and other medical
professionals in the UK about Proton Beam Therapy as well as letting
patients in the UK know about the wider options available to them. For more
information, visit the
Move to end Taxation of
trivial employee benefits has been backed by campaigners
THE Low Incomes Tax Reform Group has backed new
legislation to stop workers from facing Tax charges on low value benefits
they receive from their employers.
LITRG believes the current rules governing what constitutes a Tax Free
trivial benefit are too subjective and can leave employees shocked and
confused as to why they end up having to foot a Tax Bill for receiving a
minor item. The group supports the introduction of new, clearer, statutory
rules on trivial benefits because it will reduce the costs and
administration burdens for employers and HMRC; and also mean employees do
not face an unexpected Tax charge on items below £50 and which meet other
new conditions for the exemption.
The changes should mean that receiving gifts such as a bottle of wine given
to celebrate the birth of an employee's child or book tokens or a bunch of
flowers from a manager, will not cause the recipient a Tax Headache in the
However, LITRG has recommended that the new £50 statutory limit on each
individual benefit that can be received without Tax, be kept under constant
review, something the Government is yet to commit to. The Tax campaigners
are concerned about an oversight which is the effect of the exemption in
relation to workers on Tax Credits, Universal Credit and means tested
benefits. Such people may not know whether they have to report a trivial
benefit as income and there is a risk that such a minor benefit may impact
on the amount of money they get in welfare payments.
Anthony Thomas, LITRG Chairman, said:- "We expect the change should
mean that employees do not face the shock and confusion of a Tax charge on
items that neither they nor their employers in practical terms view as a
taxable benefit. This should help companies with their administration of
their businesses and frankly allow workers to enjoy what has been given to
them without worrying about the cost. The new statutory exemption will
help to clarify what is a trivial benefit in kind and we welcome a movement
towards a more'principles based system' rather than the current subjective
1. It is vital that the £50 limit is kept up to date, otherwise the
exemption will become obsolete very quickly and not provide the long term
simplification of administration which this is designed to achieve.
Legislation for Tax Credits, Universal Credit and means tested benefits
should be amended, if necessary, to ensure that exempt trivial benefits are
ignored for these purposes. This is important, as the employee in receipt of
the trivial benefit will have no record of its value."
A trivial benefit will qualify for the exemption if it meets 4
conditions: it costs less than £50, it is not cash or a cash voucher, it is
not part of a salary sacrifice arrangement and it is not provided in
recognition of the employment. The changes will come into effect on 6 April
Bid to get
more young people into work and training
MORE support is set to be offered to help young people
in Liverpool and Wirral that are not in education or employment into work
and training (NEET). Liverpool City Region has put in a bid for funding from
the European Social Fund (ESF) to develop an enhanced careers information
advice and guidance service. It will be aimed at young people aged 16 to 19,
with particular emphasis on expanding services for 18 and 19 year olds where
there is greater need.
Figures from October 2015 show that seven in every 100 16 to 18 year olds in
Liverpool are NEET which is lower than it has been previously, but still
remains the highest of the big'core' Cities.
Assistant Mayor and Cabinet member for education, employment and skills,
Councillor Nick Small, said:- "We've made progress in getting more
young people into education, employment and training such as by encouraging
apprenticeships on the city's school, house and hospital building
programmes, but there is much more to do. What we want to do is identify and
target those young people who need additional support and properly assessing
them before coming up with the right help and guidance. We want to
particularly tackle those groups that find it harder to get into work, such
as those with special educational needs or have been in the care system.
Every young person deserves the opportunity to get their foot on the
employment and training ladder and we are determined to do all we can to
A report being considered by Liverpool City Council's Cabinet, on Friday, 5
February 2016, recommends starting the tender process ahead of the funding
announcement so that, if the bid is successful, the contractor can be
formally appointed and start work as soon as possible.