1. ITV Report

Cerebral palsy operation funding protest at MediaCityUK

Ria Stonehouse, who has had the surgery, preparing banners with her mum Michelle. Photo: ITV

Parents of children with cerebral palsy who are being denied a life-changing operation on the NHS are protesting for change this afternoon.

Pioneering nerve surgery could aid many of the youngsters to walk for the first time, but in some areas it comes with a hefty price tag of around £22,000.

In the past three years 182 British children have even flown to America for specialist surgeons in private healthcare, which can cost their families anything up to £60,000.

While some UK hospitals have offered Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) for free, several have told parents they must fund raise to achieve the target.

The surgery involves cutting certain sensory nerve fibres attached to muscles, giving children the chance to have a pain-free life and in several cases, has seen them walk for the first time.

Now over 20 families will descend on MediaCityUK at Salford Quays to make vocal their concerns and look to pressure healthcare bosses into taking action.

Parents have formed a group entitled Support4SDR and believe not only will the operation ensure their children have a better quality of life, but it can also save the NHS vital funds.

Support4SDR claim the average child with cerebral palsy costs hospitals around £12,000 each year and that this total would be considerably reduced after the operation.

To date, SDR is now being performed at four hospitals around the country - Frenchay Hospital, Bristol, Leeds General Infirmary, Alder Hey Hospital, Liverpool and Nottingham University Hospital.

The group have also set up a petition calling for the operation to be available on the NHS - for more details you can visit the Support4SDR website.