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Cancer: Health Services

Volume 502: debated on Monday 14 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what criteria were employed by the National Cancer Action Team during the decision-making process on a regional centre for head and neck cancer services for Worcestershire; for what reasons these criteria were selected; and if he will make a statement. (307233)

The National Cancer Action Team (NCAT) does not make decisions about the establishment and location of cancer services or centres.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) issued Improving Outcomes Guidance (IOG) in November 2004 on the organisation of health care for adults with head and neck cancers. The guidance recommends which health care professionals should be involved in treatment and care, and the types of hospital or cancer centre that are best suited to provide that health care. It is for primary care trusts as commissioners of local services to implement this guidance in conjunction with their cancer networks, strategic health authorities and other stakeholders.

The role of the NCAT is to assess whether the plans submitted by a trust or a cancer network are compliant with IOG. Support for the Three Counties Cancer Network’s implementation summary was provided because it was considered to be compliant with the IOG recommendations. To see further improvement in cancer services it is essential that IOG is fully implemented nationally.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what plans he has made for the future of acute hospital cancer services in Worcestershire; (307234)

(2) what assessment he has made of the effects of transferring head and neck cancer services from Worcestershire on service provision to patients within the geographical region; and if he will make a statement.

It is the responsibility of Worcestershire Primary Care Trust to plan and develop appropriate services, including those for cancer, which will meet the needs of its resident population.

No assessment has been undertaken by the Department with regard to head and neck cancer services in the Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire areas. There are no firm proposals at present. However, once these have been developed we would expect them to be subject to formal public consultation.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health on what dates the Three Counties Cancer Network received submissions on the head and neck cancer treatment submissions from (a) Worcestershire Royal Hospital and (b) Gloucestershire Royal Hospital; and if he will make a statement. (307242)

The information requested is not held centrally. The hon. Member may wish to approach the national health service organisations involved, Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, for this information directly.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the report of the National Cancer Action Team on head and neck cancer services in Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire; and if he will make a statement. (307243)

The National Cancer Peer Review programme conducted peer reviews of cancer services in the Three Counties Cancer Network, which includes Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire, and published reports of the reviews in 2006 and 2008. The National Cancer Peer Review programme aims to improve care for people with cancer.

It is for primary care trusts in conjunction with their cancer networks, strategic health authorities and other stakeholders to assess the reports and take any necessary action to improve local services.