Radiotherapy services for cancer could move from Cornwall to Plymouth in new NHS England consultation

Cancer patients requiring radiotherapy treatment might have to go to Derriford in Plymouth as part of a move by NHS England to centralise services. NHS England said it was looking at maximising the effectiveness of its £130 million equipment modernisation investment with the creation of 11 regional Radiotherapy Networks across the UK.
Cornwall Live

3 Responses to “Radiotherapy services for cancer could move from Cornwall to Plymouth in new NHS England consultation”

  1. Rose Woodward

    I live in Cornwall and have had 2 unconnected cancers diagnosed and treated there and received excellent care. Cornwall is a rural and geographically isolated area with poor transport infrastructure and it is the 2nd poorest region in the EU receiving substantial grant aid for health, education and millions of pounds for community building projects. Areas of Cornwall that haven’t been turned into 2nd home or holiday home ghettos, are very poor added to which we have a large and aging population and high incidence of age related cancer. Add into this mix the tourist season where it is impossible to travel much during May, June, July , August and Sept. in our towns or any of the coastal communities and you have a perfect storm for cancer patients and their families in Cornwall. Travelling daily to Plymouth or Exeter is not going to happen, it is not financially possible for many people and physically impossible on a daily basis for vulnerable cancer patients many of whom are elderly people without their own transport. There is NO EVIDENCE that Cornwall’s outcomes are worse, indeed the radiotherapy team works with some of the best equipment available. This is about money and patients will suffer and our Hospital deskilled.
    If the patients in London had to travel to Birmingham daily for their cancer treatment, there would be an outcry, but poor communities like Cornwall are being treated as second class systems – where is the equity of care or patient centeredness in this high handed approach by NHS England.

  2. Pauline Gay

    I have had cancer and been given wonderful treatment at the sunrise centre. Why would you even think about making cancer patients have to travel to Plymouth for treatment, when they are at their most vulnerable.
    The people of Cornwall raised money for the Sunrise centre so that people could have treatment locally. This still means that in a rural county like ours many people still have quite a journey to undertake.
    I hope that you will see fit to put patient care first and understand that this would be a very cruel move for patients who are very ill and frightened.
    Cancer is a very cruel illness and the treatment harsh without having long journeys to contend with.

  3. Malcolm Dearnley

    I was diagnosed with prostate cancer 15 months ago. Whilst having “got away” with only one session of radio therapy so far (at Treliske), I have been advised that my current treatment may have a specific time span and, at that stage, it is likely that radio and chemo therapy will be the next step forward. I live within half an hours travel of Treliske. The thought of daily 4hour trips to Derriford is mind numbing, being in my eightieth year. Are we second class citizens in Cornwall? If this suggestion were to be made in the rich South East region, it would result in howls of protest that would, no doubt, be heeded. We have excellent dedicated staff at Treliske, and as the saying goes “If it ain’t broke, why fix it?”