Broad support for UCLH cancer and cardiac plans 

14/03/2014 00:00 
Plans which could see UCLH’s cardiac services move to Barts Health NHS Trust and UCLH becoming a specialist hub for a number of cancers have received broad clinical and public support.

Plans which could see UCLH’s cardiac services move to Barts Health NHS Trust and UCLH becoming a specialist hub for a number of cancers have received broad clinical and public support.

NHS England has formally agreed to consider proposals developed by clinicians across UCLPartners for improving specialist cardiovascular services in north and east London, and specialist cancer services in north and east London and west Essex.

This week they published their engagement report after commissioners of health services across the patch, along with clinicians, organised and attended a number of meetings to present on the proposals and answer questions.

NHS England received 130 comments or views, during the 38-day engagement process, all of which have been included in the engagement report and will be considered as part of the next stage of the programme

You can view the report here

Overall engagement showed broad clinical and public support for the ambition to improve outcomes across the area and the need to consolidate specialist services. A number of areas for further work were also highlighted such as travel implications and the need for joined-up care.

As yet, no final decisions have been made and further engagement on the proposals is planned to start in spring 2014 around implementation of commissioners’ preferred recommendations for change.

Sir Robert Naylor, UCLH chief executive, said: “It is encouraging to see such a positive response to the engagement programme. We firmly believe that creating specialist centres for cardiac and cancer patients will provide better outcomes and save lives.

“National and international evidence demonstrates a clear link between higher volumes of patients treated and better patient outcomes.  Specialist centres that have frequently practising specialist teams and full facilities, with high patient throughput, generally have better patient outcomes.”

The report summarises the engagement process that was undertaken by NHS England with clinical commissioning group partners between 28 October and 4 December 2013, and outlines feedback received on the case for change Improving specialist cancer and cardiovascular services in north and east London and west Essex.

In London, two thirds of early deaths in people under 75 are from cancer and heart disease, there is a high risk of heart disease among the local population and the number of people diagnosed with cancer is growing.  Currently specialists, technology and research are spread across too many hospitals to provide the best round-the-clock care to all patients. If we were to improve local survival rates for heart disease and all cancers in line with at least the rate for England, over 1,200 lives could be saved each year.

To do that clinicians are proposing changes to the way specialised cancer and cardiovascular services are delivered.

• For cardiovascular care, clinicians are proposing to combine services that are currently provided at The Heart Hospital, The London Chest Hospital and St Bartholomew’s Hospital to create an integrated cardiovascular centre in the new building at St Bartholomew’s.

• For five complex or rare cancers, clinicians are proposing that specialist treatment should be provided in centres of excellence across the area. Services for other types of cancer and general cancer services, such as most diagnostics and chemotherapy, would continue to be provided locally.

NHS England has thanked everybody who participated in the engagement period whether by attending an event or sending their comments and encourages those with an interest in these proposals to remain involved in the process of improving specialist services for cancer and cardiovascular patients. 


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