This week in Truro, the Programme Director of the NHS England Cancer Strategy was joined by senior NHS England staff to discuss their Modernising Radiotherapy Services consultation. They were joined by local senior NHS clinicians and managers, staff of both the Mermaid and Sunrise Centres as well as leaders of Healthwatch Cornwall and Friends of Royal Cornwall Hospital. Sarah Newton, MP for Truro and Falmouth arranged the round table meeting and was joined by her Cornish MP colleagues, Derek Thomas and Scott Mann.
Commenting on the meeting Sarah said: “I am delighted that senior leaders of NHS England travelled to Cornwall to discuss their proposals with local people. We were pleased to be updated on the significant improvements already being achieved for patients with cancer in Cornwall and across the country but know that there is still more to do. So the opportunity to discuss the 10 year Cancer Strategy, with its increased investment, and what this means for local people was welcome.
The public consultation on the NHS England proposals for improving radiotherapy services generated a great deal of local concern and the largest response that NHS England has received to a public consultation. The largest response was from people living in Cornwall. We made the very clear case for patients in Cornwall not having to travel further for treatment. Clinicians spoke positively about the opportunity to build on partnership working and the development of clinical skills as well as investment in new technology.
We also talked about the opportunity that investment in information technology and data sharing could deliver in enabling the joining up of services around patients and their families, both in hospital and the community.
Based on these discussions, we were reassured that our local concerns have been heard and understood by NHS England. We expect to see them reflected in revised proposals that are due to be published later this Autumn. We are united in our determination to ensure the best possible care and outcomes for people with cancer in Cornwall.”