Cancer services decision delayed

IPSWICH: A decision on whether to scrap pancreatic cancer surgery at Ipswich Hospital has been delayed.The East of England Specialised Commissioning Group (SCG) came up with proposals to move the service from Ipswich to Addenbrooke's in Cambridge in a bid to improve the cancer's extremely low survival rate by creating a centre of excellence.

IPSWICH: A decision on whether to scrap pancreatic cancer surgery at Ipswich Hospital has been delayed.

The East of England Specialised Commissioning Group (SCG) came up with proposals to move the service from Ipswich to Addenbrooke's in Cambridge in a bid to improve the cancer's extremely low survival rate by creating a centre of excellence.

However many patients and senior figures in the health sector have opposed the plans, which they claim will lead to a downgraded hospital.

The SCG members met to discuss the plans and a decision was due to be made, but this has now been referred to scrutiny bodies in the eastern region.

At an NHS Suffolk Board meeting, Tracy Dowling, director of strategic commissioning, said: “The SCG are now in the process of an engagement exercise with various scrutiny bodies before they formally announce their decision.”

She added that its decision will be brought back before the Board.

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Ipswich Hospital did bid to become the specialist centre for pancreatic cancer surgery in the East of England, but the SCG said Addenbrooke's was better suited. The SCG experts said only one centre should be set up for the east and that Addenbrooke's was the closest to complying with national guidelines for care.