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Breast cancer survivors not won over about future of Romford clinic

PUBLISHED: 18:00 02 December 2010

Breast Cancer SOS protest. Protest against proposal to centralise breast cancer services at King George Hosp 


Angela Chapman

Breast Cancer SOS protest. Protest against proposal to centralise breast cancer services at King George Hosp Angela Chapman

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BREAST cancer survivors claim that they are still not convinced about the future of a breast cancer clinic despite a decision by the BHR Hospital Trust to keep some treatment at the clinic.

On Tuesday November 30, Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS Trust announced that outpatient clinics will stay at the Victoria clinic in Petits Lane, Romford.

Breast cancer survivor Angela Chapman said: “We can’t really claim that it is a victory for us because although they are saying that outpatients will be cared for at the clinic, they haven’t really specified what that actually means.”

As part of the plans for the breast cancer surgery it will also see a new centre for excellence for breast cancer care created at King George Hospital.

But breast cancer survivors argue that instead of benefitting women in Havering it would force them to travel over two separate sites.

Angela said: “Its terrible because it just means that women who are going through really agreesive treatment will be travelling which will not be good for them.”

BHR Trust first announced their plans to centralise treatment at King George Hospital which included moving pre surgery treatment performed at the Victoria Clinic two months ago.

But breast cancer survivors argued that it would leave patients travelling too far and breast cancer survivior Angela Chapman formed a group Breast Cancer SOS against the plans.

Last week the group, who had attracted lots of attention on social networking site Facebook organised a protest outside of the clinic.

Trust Medical Director, Dr Ian Abbs said: “This is excellent news for people with or at risk of breast cancer from across a very wide region of Outer North East London and South West Essex, who will have a breast cancer centre of excellence.

“We heard a very strong message from patients and former patients that they valued the supportive atmosphere at the Victoria Centre, and did not want to lose this. We have worked with staff to revise the proposals, so outpatient clinics will remain at Victoria.

”We also had wide support for the concept of a breast cancer centre of excellence. Clearly no-one wants to have to travel further for their care, except where it is clinically necessary to have specialist treatment, such as in cancer surgery. We’ve listened to patients and worked hard to ensure that we can get the balance of specialist cancer treatment together with local clinics wherever possible, and by keeping clinics at Victoria, patients will get the benefits of both specialist care and accessible care.”

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