Mr James Palmer, Medical Director and Consultant Neurosurgeon, said: “The NHS is taking a number of steps to improve outcomes for patients with cancer. One of these steps is to concentrate the treatment (particularly the surgery) for complex cancers in centres of excellence.
“The reason for developing these centres is that they can develop the highest quality of treatment and best outcomes for patients which come from treating higher numbers of patients. The requirements for these centres are dictated in central guidelines, particularly issued by National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE).
“Locating specialist services for rarer cancers on single sites is therefore about bringing local practice into line with national clinical recommendations and guidance from the Peninsula Cancer Network about safe practice.
Plymouth Hospitals is already a specialist centre for
- Pancreatic cancer surgery
- Stereotactic radiosurgery for brain tumours (the Trust is one of only two centres in the UK for this)
- Liver surgery
- Bone marrow
and other services such as
- Hearty surgery and specialist cardiology procedures
- Neonatal intensive care level three for the most vulnerable and premature babies
- Renal transplantation
“In Plymouth we have the infrastructure to offer patients excellent care as we have extremely well qualified surgeons, cardiothoracic anaesthetists and supporting teams of nursing and therapeutic staff and a high dependency unit for cardiac patients all in one place. But we are only a small part of the overall care package that the patient receives and our staff will work with all the other clinicians across the Peninsula to make that care as good as it can be for the patient.
“For example, in most cases patients only have to travel for surgery, other care such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy is and will be provided much more locally. by doctors and medical staff at hospitals and GP surgeries closer to their home, whether that is in the south of Cornwall or the north of Devon.”