1. National

NHS to fund Ashya King's treatment in Czech Republic

The NHS is to pay for five-year-old brain tumour patient Ashya King's proton beam therapy treatment in the Czech Republic.

His parents Brett and Naghemeh King sparked an international police hunt after they took their son out of Southampton General Hospital and travelled to Prague for the treatment which was not available for him on the NHS.

View all 159 updates ›

Hunt offers to fly expert out to advise Ashya parents

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has told ITV News the Government is offering to fly one of the NHS' top medical experts to Spain to give advice on the next course of action for five-year-old cancer patient Ashya King.

Speaking to Political Correspondent Carl Dinnen, Mr Hunt said proton beam treatment - the preferred choice of the child's parents but previously unavailable at the NHS Trust where Ashya was treated - could be applied on the service if deemed appropriate.

The NHS does fund proton beam therapy for children who need it - we funded 99 children in the last year - [but] it is not always appropriate, it is not always safe.

We are arranging for an independent expert - one of our top oncologists - to fly out, if the family would like, to Spain to give them advice as to exactly what the right course of action for Ashya is going forward.

– Jeremy Hunt, Health Secretary

Asked about the way the NHS Trust treating Ashya handled things, Mr Hunt said: "It has been a very unfortunate sequence of events and there have clearly been misunderstandings along the way."

More on this story