`Child B' is now being treated on the NHS

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The Independent Online
Child B, the 11-year-old leukaemia victim who was treated at a private clinic after being refused NHS treatment, is now receiving state-funded care it was disclosed last night.

The girl, who cannot be named following a court order, was treated at the private London Clinic after a benefactor donated about pounds 75,000.

Stephen Thornton, chief executive of Cambridge and Huntingdon health commission, whose decision not to treat her was upheld in the courts, said last night the girl's care had been paid for by the NHS for the "past couple of weeks".

He said she would continue to be looked after at the London Clinic for so long as it was deemed necessary. But he denied this was a U-turn by the commission. "There has been no change in our position whatsoever. We are being completely consistent," he said.

Mr Thornton said the commission had refused to fund "unevaluated experimental treatment". What they were now funding was treatment that would be given to any cancer patient with this particular problem and of this particular age.

There was "no embarrassment" and any similar requests for unevaluated, experimental treatment would be turned down. Child B, who has had chemotherapy and lymphocyte treatment, is said to be in full remission and her chances of making a full recovery have risen from between 10 and 20 per cent to 30 per cent, the London Clinic said recently.

In August, she celebrated her 11th birthday, five months after she was refused further treatment by the Cambridge and Huntingdon health commission.