YVETTE Cooper MP has demanded answers after a seven-year-old Castleford boy who suffers from cerebral palsy was refused an operation on the NHS that could help him walk for the first time.
Cameron Harper’s family say tests have been carried out at Leeds General Infirmary which confirm he is an ideal candidate for the Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy surgery.(SDR)
But the treatment, which could transform the youngster’s life, is not available on the NHS.
Cameron’s family and friends have raised around £14,000 towards more than £50,000 they need to cover the cost of the £26,000 surgery plus rehabilitation and physiotherapy costs.
Shadow Home Secretary Ms Cooper, who is MP for Pontefract and Castleford, said: “I want to know exactly why the NHS isn’t funding these kind of procedures so I’ve written directly to the head of NHS England calling for them to look again at this.”
Cameron’s mother Nicola Harper, 38, said: “It’s awful to watch him struggle and not be able to walk when there’s an operation available that could change his life.”
A spokesman for NHS England said: “We understand how difficult this is and sympathise with the family who feel that their child may benefit from this treatment.
“Up till now evidence does not demonstrate sufficient effectiveness for its routine use.
“Since April 2013 it has not been routinely funded by the NHS as a treatment for cerebral palsy.
“The treatment has, however now been identified a potential treatment option for the future, and we are running an evaluation programme to test its benefits which means this treatment may be offered to patients taking part in the trial.”
The spokesman added: “This will tell us whether SDR should be made routinely available in the future.”
The Harper family has set up a registered charity at www.justgiving.com/cameronharper