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Decision due on future of cancer and cardiac services at Romford hospital

14:58 25 July 2014

Queen

Queen's Hospital

Archant

A shake-up of cardiac and cancer services in London may see specialist prostate, bladder and renal surgeries transferred away from Queen’s and King George’s Hospitals.

If the reorganisation of North and East London and West Essex services is approved by NHS commissioners today (Friday) patients requiring treatment will have to travel to University College London Hospitals, in central London.

Queen’s Hospital will become one of two centres in the region for the treatment of brain cancer, while also retaining its haematological cancer service. It would also be one of two centres providing treatment for cancers of the upper digestive system.

Matthew Hopkins, chief executive of Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals BHRUT), said: “We fully support the cancer and cardiac service proposals which aim to deliver improved clinical outcomes for patients. If commissioners approve them at their meeting we will work with all providers involved to ensure the safe implementation of the service improvements.”

The changes recommended by commissioners are intended to ensure London services deliver the optimal number of successful outcomes for patients. Cancer and cardiovascular disease are responsible for two-thirds of early deaths in London.

A report by NHS England says that if heart disease and cancer survival rates in north and east London and west Essex equalled the best achieved in England, more than 2,000 lives per year could be saved.

The report recommends improving services by creating fewer specialist high-volume units. It says this will accelerate the uptake of new technologies and improve efficiency.

An option to offer prostate services from both UCLH and BHRUT was considered, but it was decided that demand would not justify this. NHS England has estimated the changes could save Barking, Redbridge and Havering University Hospitals Trust £1million per year, although the decline in services will reduce income by £600,000.

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