Hospitals in the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) will bid to become the first centre in the country to provide an advanced form of radiotherapy to cancer patients.

The National Specialised Commissioning Team will launch a competition to identify possible providers of proton beam services in the UK to treat suffers of cancer that occur in the retina, base of the skull and near the spine.

This will be the first time proton beam therapy is offered to patients in the UK and the Department of Health hopes services will be available in the next three to five years.