10 February 2009

This is a follow-up of the post of 13 November 2008, which I have put below, about the review of stomach and esophageal cancer at Treliske hospital of the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust.

A review of these cancer services at all the hospital trusts in Cornwall and Devon has now been published. It recommends that a centralised centre of excellence for these cancers is established at Derriford hospital, Plymouth by January 2010. This means these services presently at Treliske and at Exeter hospitals will be transferred to Plymouth. This is the right and expected decision.

This is a summary of the review report by Cornwall and Isles of Scilly primary care trust, dated 9 February 2009, and this is the full review report.

Original post 13 November 2008

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 A 3 December 2008 to the original post

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.

See too the later post of 7 October 2009.