Issue - meetings

Proposed Changes to Children's Specialist Cancer Services - Primary Treatment Centre (PTC)

Meeting: 07/03/2024 - Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Item 33)

33 Future location of Specialised Cancer Services for Children - Public Consultation Update pdf icon PDF 430 KB

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33.1     The Committee considered a report on the outcomes of the public consultation on the proposed future location of very specialised cancer services for children in south London and much of the South East, including East Sussex. There were two options consulted on for potential locations of the future Principal Treatment Centre (PTC), which were Evelina London Children’s Hospital in Lambeth, south London, run by Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, and St George’s Hospital in Tooting, South London. A decision on the future location was to be made on 14 March 2024. (Post-meeting note: On 14 March 2024, leaders for NHS England (London and South East regions) decided that Evelina London Children’s Hospital should be the future Children’s Cancer Principal Treatment Centre).

33.2     The Committee asked whether patients and families that did not qualify for non-emergency patient transport would get support in travelling from East Sussex to London.

33.3     Catherine Croucher, Public Health Consultant NHSE London, explained the national guidelines allowed there to be discretion, so provider Trusts could offer transport for patients and families who didn’t meet the eligibility criteria. Both providers that had been consulted on as potential future options had committed to conduct an assessment of the transport needs of the patient group, noting the heightened needs that the particular patient cohort would have such as immunosuppression.

33.4     The Committee noted that it could be difficult and costly for residents travelling from East Sussex to travel to London, and asked how families would be supported with this.

33.5     Catherine Croucher noted that both the locations were within the London Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), while Evelina London was also in the Congestion Charge zone. Families traveling to and from London would be able to register with the hospital trust, which would mean that while ULEZ and Congestion Charge payments would be taken in the usual way, they could be reimbursed on the same day. Families would be required to register with the system and may need support with this, which would be provided by the chosen provider to help families navigate the reimbursement system.

33.6     The Committee asked whether parking and overnight accommodation would be provided at the chosen location.

33.7     Catherine Croucher responded that it was the standard model for parents to be able to stay overnight with their children when they were on the ward. Both providers had accommodation on or near their sites for wider family networks. As part of the implementation phase, consideration would be given to the likely capacity need to help ensure that accommodation facilities were fit for purpose. Both options had also committed to providing free and dedicated parking.

33.8     The Committee asked what mechanisms would be in place to ensure the operation of the service should insufficient staff agree to transfer to a new location.

33.9     Ailsa Willens, Programme Director Children’s Cancer Principal Treatment Centre Reconfiguration Programme, noted that there were 170 staff at the Royal Marsden that would be eligible for TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings  ...  view the full minutes text for item 33

Meeting: 02/03/2023 - Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Item 33)

33 Proposed Changes to Children's Specialist Cancer Services - Principal Treatment Centre (PTC) pdf icon PDF 403 KB

Additional documents:


33.1     The Committee considered a report on the proposed changes to Children’s Specialist Cancer Services presented by representatives from NHS England (NHSE).

33.2     The Committee commented that the majority of patients who need to travel will be immunocompromised due to their treatment and will therefore probably chose to travel by car. Also, there are areas of deprivation within East Sussex where patients and their families may struggle with travel costs. The Committee asked what travel and access support will be provided for patients, their families and carers under the proposals.

33.3     Dr Chris Streather, Regional Medical Director, NHSE London outlined that a travel time analysis had been undertaken as part of the development of the proposals. This showed that travel times for the two options under consideration by public transport were slightly better, but travel times by car were longer. The Team is drawing on the experience gained from the development of the north London Principal Treatment Centre (PTC) to ensure travel and access is not made more difficult. The Evelina London Children’s Hospital has experience of caring for other immunocompromised children and their travel and access needs.

33.4     Hazel Fisher, Director of Transformation and Programmes, Specialised Services, NHSE London added that they are talking to Great Ormond Street about the support they currently provide for children and there are good transport models in place. NHSE are looking at travel, access and deprivation and this will be covered by the Equalities Impact Assessment (EQIA) that will be included with the Pre Consultation Business Case (PCBC). There are exemptions available for the Ultra Low Emission Zone on a pay and reclaim basis and transport parking spaces are available. In an emergency there is currently a transport service in place that is run by the Evelina Children’s Hospital.

33.5     The Committee asked if children are entitled to patient transport services (PTS) to London.

33.6     Dr Chris Streather responded that NHSE would look at this.

33.7     The Committee commented that if a child goes to a specialist centre for treatment it will be important for the parents or carers to stay with the child. The Committee asked if provision for parents and carers is going to be part of the PCBC and whether the changes will put pressure on existing provision.

33.8     Dr Chris Streather confirmed that this will be part pf the PCBC. Hazel Fisher outlined that NHSE had asked both providers how they will accommodate parents and carers. This might be met via the provision of pull down beds or separate overnight accommodation. Provision for parents and carers will also be in the consultation document.

33.9     Based on the discussion, the Chair asked the Committee if they would agree that the proposed changes do not constitute a substantial variation to health services for East Sussex residents. The Chair also summarised the Committee’s desire to remain involved in the development of the proposals and outlined the methods available to the Committee including responding to the public consultation.

33.10   The Committee RESOLVED  ...  view the full minutes text for item 33