24 July 2010

The Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRC) of the health service recommended in June 2010 to the health secretary that the moving of esophageal-gastric intestinal cancer surgery for Cornwall patients to a single specialist centre at Derriford hospital in Plymouth should stand. The health secretary has now accepted the IRP view. The clinical argument for the move is discussed fully in part 4.11 of the panel report which refers to the arguments in the earlier Griffin/Allum report.

There is an issue of financial help for travel and accommodation for some patients and families who go to Plymouth. I do not think this has been entirely resolved satisfactorily but it is a question for the NHS in other places too and perhaps the issue requires a national solution. The issue should not be lost in the forthcoming abolition of the primary care trust.

I believe the move to Derriford was desirable because of that fundamental clinical argument: the previous posts I wrote on this in 2008 and 2009 are below.

Incidentally, the wider clinical case for consolidating the location of complex operations is made in a report of June 2010 from the Vascular Society and the Royal Society of Physicians. See pages 10 and 49.

Relocation of cancer service from Cornwall (1)

Relocation of cancer services from Cornwall (2)

Relocation of cancer services from Cornwall (3)

Cancer services relocation: update

Cancer services: update 2