13 November 2008

(Additamentum 3 December 2008 at the end)

This is about upper gastrointestinal (UGI) cancer. Begin by looking at this post of 24 September. The issue was settled but the rumbles went on. Now the Department of Health has given the figures for survival rates which help make the case for relocation to a centre of excellence. Let it end here. UGI cancer operations should move from the Royal Cornwall hospital and be centralised in a single specialist centre. Exeter should drop any opposition too. It is in the interests of patients that the centre be established soon.

The department gave the figures for survival rates in southwest hospitals involved in this issue.
The figures are percentages for the period January 2003 to March 2006.

Deaths before thirty one days:
Plymouth Hospital NHS Trust 7
Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust 6
Royal Cornwall Hospital NHS Trust 11.

The figures for deaths within one year are 21 percent, 21, and 39.

Source: Hansard 12 November 2008 column 1203W.

Additamentum 3 December 2008

Another question and answer in the Commons, this one about the effectiveness of the government’s national cancer policy: Hansard 26 November 2008 column 2078W. From the statistics given I have worked out the ratio for the 30 day death rate for esophageal cancer in specialist and non-specialist centres: 1999/2000 it was 100:112, in 2005/2006 it was 100:137. The benefit of specialist centres for patient survival is clear.