Controversial cancer move rubber-stamped

HEALTH bosses have controversially voted to move head and neck cancer surgery away from Ipswich Hospital.

Rebecca Lefort

HEALTH bosses have controversially voted to move head and neck cancer surgery away from Ipswich Hospital.

Suffolk Primary Care Trust (PCT) met today and decided to endorse plans to move the service to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital.

The decision was expected, but still disappointed campaigners who had been desperate to keep the surgery at Ipswich Hospital.

Clinicians, politicians and many patients spoke against the proposals during a public consultation, but the PCT's board heard that the switch was needed to comply with national guidelines.

The guidance states cancer centres should treat at least 100 new cases of head and neck cancer a year, and serve a population of at least one million people, which Ipswich Hospital does not do.

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The PCT's chief executive, Carole Taylor-Brown, said she understood people's concerns and added that “cancer debates are always extremely emotive”, but said she believed the move would improve patients' care.

- For more on this story see tomorrow's Evening Star.