THE family of a teenager whose organs are being crushed by her own sternum say they are over the moon after the NHS agreed to review the policy which is preventing her from getting treatment.

Autumn Bradley, from Guisborough, has a condition called pectus excavatum, which causes her breastbone to grow inwards.

The 14-year-old was a keen athlete – running at county level – but her sternum is now just 25mm from her spine, effectively squashing her heart and lungs and resulting in breathing problems and constant pain.

Her case was raised in Parliament by her MP, Simon Clarke, last year and as a result, the NHS policy of the treatment of the condition is now under review.

A decision made in 2019 means the treatment is currently not available in England, though it is in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, regardless of how serious the symptoms, as it is considered cosmetic.

Sarah Grierson, Autumn's mum, said: "We are absolutely over the moon that they are finally looking at a review of the current policy. I want to thank Simon for all the work he's put in to get us to this point.

"I hope, for the sake of Autumn and other children across the country, that this happens speedily so that they can get the treatment they need."

In a letter to Mr Clarke, John Stewart, national director of specialised commissioning, said it was possible that a policy position could be confirmed as early as this year.

He said: "In order for NHS England to approve access to surgical treatment for patients with severe deformity, a clinical commissioning policy dealing specifically with this patient cohort would need to be developed, supported by appropriate quality published evidence, and approved.

"I am pleased to confirm that this work has now begun with the aim of arriving at a policy position later this year."

Mr Clarke has been working with Joel Dunning, a specialist surgeon at James Cook University Hospital.

Mr Dunning said: "We're delighted that Simon brought this to national attention. As a direct result of the Westminster Hall debate, it has started a policy review."

He added that he expected a decision to come within a year and a half.