CANCER patients have raised fears about future treatment after the NHS's decision to outsource vital cancer scans in Oxford to a private company.

The move to strip the Churchill Hospital of the PET-CT scan contract in favour of InHealth have prompted concerns by doctors and local MPs who say the decision could lead to a more fragmented service.

Myeloma patient Barry Neville, 73, of Wokingham has been travelling to the Churchill for on-site treatment since 2014 and has had a number of the scans which produce a highly accurate 3-d image of the cancerous area.

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He said moving the scans off site could have an impact on patients' physical and mental wellbeing.

He said: "I think you need things on the spot - the results come very quickly at the Churchill.

"It's that lack of worry - you know the results are going to come through very quickly and the doctors and nurses are going to be able to act on them straight away."

Last week local MPs from across all parties urged the Government to intervene, while today shadow Health Secretary, John Ashworth, warned the move could have 'devastating consequences'.

He said: "This is now a real test of the Health Secretary who promised no privatisation on his watch - he must urgently step in and ensure this cancer scanning service remains in public hands at the Churchill."

NHS England have said an announcement on the new contract will be made in the coming weeks.