Cancer services move is “vandalism”

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Health watchdogs are investigating whether rules were broken over the commissioning of specialised cancer surgery services in Stockport and Greater Manchester.

Monitor’s investigation arises out of complaints made by Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, and the University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust, into whether NHS England and its predecessor in the north west used a process for selecting future providers of cancer services that wasn’t based on quality of services, patient outcomes or patient preferences.

The Stockport trust’s concerns relate to the decision-making process over urology cancer services, which could be moved from Stepping Hill Hospital to Manchester Royal Infirmary.

And their concerns were echoed by Mike Harrison, Chairman of High Peak Prostate Cancer Support Group, who said: “This move has been described by senior consultants as an act of vandalism.

“What we have got at Stepping Hill is a world-class facility dealing with prostate cancer patients both during diagnosis, treatment and post-op, and they want all this to be uprooted and moved to Manchester Royal.

“This is certainly going to be an inconvenience for patients in the High Peak, but the centre also deals with urology patients from Macclesfield and Tameside. It will just add further pressure on patients who are already under enough stress.”