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Last Updated: Friday, 9 September 2005, 16:08 GMT 17:08 UK
Hospital to lead cancer network
Christie Hospital in Greater Manchester - copyright VT Freeze Frame
Health bosses hope the plan will help improve survival rates
Christie Hospital will be a network centre for cancer services in Greater Manchester under plans to expand and improve care in the region.

Satellite centres with radiotherapy and chemotherapy facilities are planned for Oldham and Salford so patients no longer have to travel to Withington.

The changes follow a review of cancer care by the Greater Manchester Strategic Health Authority (SHA).

Health bosses believe the model will improve survival rates in the region.

This is a shameful situation that has been allowed to go on for far too long and for which I sincerely apologise
Dr Neil Goodwin, SHA chief executive

The recommendations are made in a report by SHA's medical director Dr Chris Harrison, published on Friday.

In addition to satellite centres patients will continue to receive treatment at local hospitals in Bolton, Wigan, Bury, Rochdale, Tameside, Trafford, Stockport and Crewe.

"By expanding the services on offer across the conurbation, and developing centres of expertise for more complex cancers, we believe we can improve survival rates and improve access to treatment," said Dr Harrison.

Dr Neil Goodwin, chief executive of the SHA, said the report would address the "wholly unacceptable" issue of access to specialist cancer services in Greater Manchester.

"This is a shameful situation that has been allowed to go on for far too long and for which I sincerely apologise.

"The report also knocks on the head any residual speculation about the future of the Christie which will now play its part alongside designated associate cancer centres in delivering specialist cancer services to people when they need them."

Dr Harrison's report will be considered by the SHA at its next meeting on 29 September.

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