Page last updated at 16:02 GMT, Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Cancer unit recommended for Truro

A specialist gynaecological cancer centre for Devon and Cornwall should be at Truro's Royal Cornwall Hospital, an independent panel has recommended.

The city was chosen over Plymouth for the location of the second centre of excellence for both counties.

The panel assessed what procedures were available, joint working and access to support staff to make its decision.

The Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital in Devon was the region's first specialist centre for gynaecological cancer.

Clinical evidence

The second centre is being planned by regional health managers as part of moves to concentrate services in response to government guidelines.

The Department of Health said concentrating surgery in a specialist centre of excellence dramatically improved a patient's chance of survival and cure.

The review panel comprised of gynaecological oncologists Professor David Luesley, from Birmingham, and Charles Redman, from North Staffordshire, and cancer nurse specialist, Juliette Sim from University College Hospital, London.

Their report that the Royal Cornwall Hospital was the best potential site for a second centre in the counties because it scored more than Plymouth in their research.

Ann James, chief executive of NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, the Primary Care Trust welcomed the recommendation, saying the decision had been based on clinical evidence about "what is right for patients and considering each service on an individual basis."

A consultation will be undertaken as part of the process, with patients, local councillors and others being asked for their views before a final decision on where the unit should be sited is made.

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