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Radiotherapy 'will not move out of Cornwall'

NHS England has reportedly assured Cornish MPs that radiotherapy services will not move out of the county.

The Sunrise Centre at the Royal Cornwall Hospital, Treliske

It was feared that some treatments may be moved away from the Sunrise Centre at Treliske if plans by NHS England to centralise radiotherapy services go ahead. Such a relocation would mean 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.

However, Scilly's MP Derek Thomas has now said that Cornish MPs were told it was "not NHS England's intention" to move radiotherapy services away from Cornwall.

He wrote on social media: "Yesterday I, together with the other Cornish MPs, met with NHS England Cancer representatives in Westminster to discuss the future of radiotherapy services and modernisation proposals. NHS England launched a public consultation in October 2017 called 'Modernising radiotherapy services in England', which proposes new radiotherapy networks to encourage more collaborative working between clinicians and radiotherapy service providers and will build on an investment of £130 million to replace equipment and invest in new treatment planning systems.

"The consultation received over 12,000 responses, the vast majority of which came from Cornwall, and many people were concerned about how a change to radiotherapy services may impact cancer patients in Cornwall, potentially leading to longer travel times.

"At the meeting, NHS England assured us that the proposals will not see services being moved out of Cornwall and that responses from local residents will help shape the proposals. Cornwall is a very rural area and it’s understandable when people are concerned that services may move east rather than west but I am reassured that this is not NHS England’s intention and that this new £130 million investment coupled with the new Radiotherapy Networks will provide a better level of care for cancer patients."

He added: "We made sure to stress to NHS England how important the Sunrise Centre and other cancer services are to the people of Cornwall and how they must be protected."

Cllr Adrian Davis, Scilly's Lead Member for Adults, said in January that the Council should “support Treliske to the hilt” over its response to NHS England’s radiotherapy proposals.


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