A consistent theme in the national Improving Outcomes Guidance (IOG) is that cancer services are best provided by teams of clinicians who work together effectively. Team working brings together staff with the necessary knowledge, skills and experience to ensure high quality diagnosis, treatment and care and improves the co-ordination and continuity of care for patients. How the guidance is implemented locally, however, is a matter for the local national health service.
In line with national Improving Outcomes Guidance, upper gastro-intestinal cancer surgery moved from the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, and Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, and centralised at Plymouth's Derriford Hospital from 1 January 2010. All pre and post-operative care for patients will continue to be provided locally.
I am informed by the local NHS that expertise from clinical teams around the South West peninsula has been incorporated into a unit capable of delivering the best and most appropriate care to patients with these cancers.