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Council ‘should support Treliske over radiotherapy'

Dr Adrian Davis has said the Council should “support Treliske to the hilt” over its response to NHS England’s radiotherapy proposals.

The Sunrise Centre at the Royal Cornwall Hospital, Treliske

Some radiotherapy treatments may be moved away from the Sunrise Centre at Treliske if plans by NHS England to centralise radiotherapy services go ahead. Such a move means that patients from Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly with "less common" cancers may have to travel to Plymouth, Exeter or further afield for treatment.

Dr Davis, who is the Lead Member for Adults, said at the last Full Council meeting that he felt the NHS proposals were a positive step. However, he has changed his mind after speaking to the Sunrise Centre's lead Radiotherapy consultant.

Speaking at the Full Council meeting on January 18th, he said: “I’ve been in touch with Alistair Thomson… He’d actually just done a press release saying ‘We believe we offer an excellent service level of care using modern techniques including radiotherapy and chemotherapy and there is no evidence that patient care would be improved by this process’.”

Cllr Davis added: “I therefore feel that we should back Treliske to the hilt on this matter. My only concerns were that in very exceptional cases it might be appropriate to travel further but he’s been quite clear that they have the equipment, they have the hardware, they can deliver all the treatment that is required. Occasionally they may be in contact further up the line to consult with their colleagues… they are in contact on a professional basis outside their Trust so I think we should support them.

“I would also add that they are very well respected for the research they do.”

The issue will be discussed by the Scrutiny Committee at a future meeting, with a follow-up letter to be sent by the Chair and Vice-chair. Council Chairman Ted Moulson said he would be happy to discuss sending a further response with Cllr Davis and Chief Executive Theo Leijser.

Consultants at the Sunrise Centre have said that the proposals could affect 200 or more patients a year from Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, all of whom are currently treated at Treliske.

More than 11,000 people responded to a public consultation to express their concerns over the plans.

NHS England said in a statement: “Due to the high number of responses received, it will take some time to understand the different views put forward. This is now being analysed so that NHS England can carefully consider the proposals in light of the feedback. A formal response to the consultation will be published in due course."


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