Page last updated at 13:38 GMT, Wednesday, 15 October 2008 14:38 UK

NHS reassurance over cancer move

Surgery
Some patients face a two-hour journey if services move to Plymouth

No cancer services will move from Cornwall to Devon until the outcome of two hospital services reviews are known, NHS South West has said.

There has been strong opposition to the primary care trust's (PCT) plans to relocate a number of cancer services.

Reviews being carried out at Plymouth's Derriford Hospital and the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital should be completed by the end of the year.

Councillors said they welcomed the PCT's reassurances.

The pledge was given by Ann James, chief executive of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly PCT.

The last few months have been a very difficult time for people suffering from cancer in Cornwall
Eric Parkin, Cornwall County Council

Eric Parkin, chair of the county council's scrutiny committee, said it was vital that no changes were made until a full public consultation had been carried out.

"This is a very important issue and we must ensure that decisions are based on accurate information," he said.

"The last few months have been a very difficult time for people suffering from cancer in Cornwall and their families."

Last month, the Department of Health ordered an urgent review into the PCT's plans after complaints from patients and doctors and concerns from councillors.

The PCT has said upper gastro intestinal cancer patients will have a better chance of survival if they receive treatment in Devon.

Such a move would mean some patients facing a two-hour journey from Truro to Plymouth for treatment.

Peter Davies resigned as chairman of the Royal Cornwall Hospitals' NHS Trust in July over the plans.




SEE ALSO
Review ordered into cancer move
16 Sep 08 |  Cornwall
Watchdogs oppose surgery switch
15 Jul 08 |  England
Health chief resigns in protest
11 Jul 08 |  Cornwall
Meeting over cancer services move
06 Jun 08 |  Cornwall
Surgery survival better in Devon
21 Apr 08 |  Cornwall

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