Rutherford Health Group (the Group), which operates a network of cancer and diagnostic centers in the UK, announced yesterday (6 June) that an application was to be made to place the Group in liquidation.
Since 2015, Rutherford Health has built a network of oncology centers known as Rutherford Cancer Centers, located in South Wales, Northumberland, Liverpool and Thames Valley.
The group comprises a number of subsidiaries, including Rutherford Cancer Centres, Rutherford Diagnostics, Rutherford Innovations and Rutherford Estates.
Rutherford Health offered a wide range of advanced cancer treatments at its centers, including high-energy proton therapy, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, diagnostic imaging, and supportive care services.
A request will be made later this week to appoint the official receiver (an officer of the Insolvency Service) as liquidator.
Staff at the Group’s centers were informed yesterday (6 June) and arrangements are being made to transfer patients to other facilities.
Several factors contributed to the decision to place the Group in liquidation.
The number of patients presenting to cancer centers during the COVID-19 pandemic has been severely impacted, resulting in a critical lack of patient volume.
The Group had invested heavily in the construction of its network of cancer centers, one of the most advanced in Europe, and the cost of infrastructure combined with an impacted flow of patients presented extremely difficult commercial conditions.
The Group tried to increase the flow of patients by offering the NHS a national association contract in addition to the existing local contracts, but this was not retained.
A patient information process is underway and the small number of locally mandated NHS patients are being referred to their local NHS Trust to complete their treatment.
Sean Sullivan, Chief Restructuring Officer and Interim CEO, said, “Rutherford Health is committed to providing high quality care, and the past two years have proven to be an extremely challenging time for the business.
“Covid has been particularly damaging for us as fewer patients were showing side effects during the lockdowns, and as a result cancer diagnosis was delayed and unfortunately in many cases missed. This means that fewer cancer patients come to our centres.
“On top of that, the company has grown rapidly over the past few years. It was a very expensive undertaking to set up, with over £240m of capital expenditure to build and expand cancer centers across the country, but unfortunately the number of patients has not matched that.
“We made several offers to the NHS, and although we got some contracts, they were insufficient and we were unable to secure mechanisms to speed up the process.
“This added to severe financial pressures on the business and we had no choice but to place the Group in liquidation.
“We are very proud to have been able to serve the community and cancer patients across the country.”