THE GROUP which owns the Rutherford Cancer Centre in Newport has announced it will be going into liquidation.

The Rutherford Health Group operates a network of cancer and diagnostic centres in the UK.

The Rutherford Cancer Centre South Wales, at the city’s Celtic Springs Business Park, was the first of the group’s centres to open across the UK, and in 2018 became the UK’s first high energy proton beam therapy centre

The centres – in Newport, Northumberland, Liverpool and Thames Valley – offered a range of cancer treatments and services, including high energy proton beam therapy, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, diagnostic imaging and supportive care services.

It has been confirmed today (Monday, June 6) that the Rutherford Health Group has made an application to be placed into liquidation.

An application will be made later this week to appoint the official receiver (an officer of the Insolvency Service) as liquidator.

Staff across the centres were informed of the decision earlier today.

Patients are now being informed of this decision and given advice on what to do as they are returned to their local NHS Trusts to finish their treatment.

The group said that “a number of factors” contributed to this decision.

These included a “critical lack of patient volume” due to the number of patients presenting to the cancer centres during the coronavirus pandemic being “severely impacted”, and the cost of infrastructure after the group invested heavily in building its cancer centre network.

Sean Sullivan, chief restructuring officer and interim chief executive, said: “Rutherford Health has been committed to providing high quality care, and the past couple of years has proven to be an extremely challenging time for the business.

“Covid has been particularly damaging for us as fewer patients were presenting with side effects during the lockdowns, and as a result cancer diagnosis has been delayed and sadly, in many cases, missed. This has meant fewer cancer patients have been presenting to our centres.

“Added to that, the business had grown rapidly over recent years. It was a very expensive business to set up, with over £240 million of capital expenditure to build and develop the cancer centres across the country, however, unfortunately patient numbers have not matched that.

“We made several offers to the NHS, and whilst we secured some contracts they were insufficient and we have not been able to secure mechanisms to expedite process. This added to severe financial pressures on the business and we had no option other than to place the Group into liquidation.

“We are very proud to have been able to serve the community and cancer patients across the country.”