Suffolk: Councillors set to scrutinse plans to move liver cancer surgery to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge

Councillors are set to debate plans to move liver cancer surgery to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambri

Councillors are set to debate plans to move liver cancer surgery to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge. Surgery has already stopped at Ipswich Hospital, pictured.

The spotlight is set to be cast on a decision to create one specialist centre for liver cancer patients as councillors debate the proposal to relocate services in the east.

The newly-formed and one-off Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk Joint Scrutiny Committee will meet next Wednesday to consider the plans put forward by NHS England.

If implemented, it would mean there would be just one centre to provide surgery for liver metastases – the spread of cancer from one organ or part of the body to another – four patients in the three counties as well as north Bedfordshire.

Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge has been put forward to host the specialist centre, meaning patients from across the region would have to travel there for treatment.

Until recently there were three centres in the region at Ipswich Hospital, the Norfolk and Norwich and Addenbrooke’s.

In Ipswich surgeons have already stopped performing liver resection surgery.

Councillor Tony Goldson, chairman of the Suffolk Health Scrutiny Committee and member of the joint committee, said: “This type of specialist liver surgery is currently provided at the Norfolk and Norwich and at Addenbrookes.

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“The joint committee wants to understand the implications of the proposal to establish a single centre in Cambridge and to be assured that this will deliver a high quality service that is in the best interests of people who may need this service in the future.”

The plans come following a review, launched in 2011, which found the number of patients undergoing liver cancer surgery was significantly lower – 90 patients a year – than the national average.

National NHS guidelines recommend having a centralised, specialist service to bring togehter dedicated, multidisciplinary experts to deliver high quality care for as many as 200 patients a year.

The committee will consider:

- The extent to which the proposals are in the interests of patients

- The impact of the proposals on patient and carer experience and outcomes on their health and wellbeing

- The quality of clinical evidence underlying the proposals

- The extent to which the proposals are financially sustainable

As well as hearing from NHS England, the committee will be seeking the views of stakeholders, patients and members of the public.