Covid has contributed to the demise of another victim with the application of The Rutherford Health group, operators of a network of UK cancer and diagnostic centres, to be placed into liquidation.
Rutherford Cancer Centre in Cardiff
Since 2015, it built a network of Rutherford Cancer Centres in south Wales, Northumberland, Liverpool and Thames Valley and recently opened the first community diagnostics centre of its kind in England, in Somerset.
The group comprises subsidiary companies including Rutherford Cancer Centres, Rutherford Diagnostics, Rutherford Innovations and Rutherford Estates.
Sean Sullivan, chief restructuring officer and interim CEO, 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 £240m of capital expenditure to build and develop the cancer centres across the country, but, unfortunately patient numbers have not matched that.’
Mr Sullivan said the company made several offers to the NHS, but the number of contracts secured were insufficient.
This added to severe financial pressures on the business leaving it no option but to place the group into liquidation.
But Rutherford was ‘very proud’ to have been able to serve the community and cancer patients across the country.
Its centres offered an extensive range of advanced cancer treatments including high-energy proton beam therapy, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, diagnostic imaging and supportive care services.
Arrangements were made to transfer patients to alternative facilities and a small number
of locally commissioned NHS patients were returned to their local NHS trust to finish their treatment.
Rutherford said: ‘The group had invested heavily in building its cancer centre network, one of the most advanced in Europe, and the cost of infrastructure combined with impacted patient flow presented extremely challenging trading conditions.
‘The group made efforts to increase patient flow by offering the NHS a not-for-profit national contract in addition to existing local contracts, but this was not taken up.’