Facebook group against breast cancer treatment move to King George Hospital reaches 544 members

Breast Cancer SOS members say “keep services local”

A FACEBOOK group set up to fight changes in breast cancer provision in Havering has attracted 544 members in its first six weeks.

Breast Cancer SOS was started by breast cancer survivor Angela Chapman, 41, in response to plans to close Victoria Hospital Cancer Clinic in Pettits Lane, Romford and move services from Queens Hospital in Rom Valley Way, Romford out of the borough to King George Hospital in Goodmayes.

Ms Chapman, a legal secretary, said: “It all seems to be a step back; it’s one of the best diagnostic clinics that we’ve got. I have private health care through my work and when my friend found a lump two weeks after me she went there and she was given the all clear quicker than I was.”

Many of those who have joined owe their lives to local treatment and are vehemently opposed to the move.

Queens and are vehemently opposed to the centralisation of services.

Member Emma Franchi said on the site: “I was diganosed with breast cancer in April 2009 and had all my treatment and operations at Queens and the Victoria Centre. Keep our services local.”

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Another, Linda Johnson, wrote: “I have just come out of Queens Hospital and had some of breast cancer treatment there. Good luck with your campaign Angela, we will help all we can.”

Barking, Havering and Redbridge Hospitals Trust maintains the move will enable a centre of excellence to be created at King George and said it had “received very positive feedback” about the plans.

A spokesman said routine screening would still take place close to people’s homes.

The trust is due to make its decision about the move at its next board meeting at King George Hospital on November 30.

Visit the Trust’s website at www.bhrhospitals.nhs.uk.

To contact Breast Cancer SOS email bcsosgroup@yahoo.co.uk or join the group at www.facebook.com.