Agenda item

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


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 to:

1) Agree that the proposed changes to Children’s Specialist Cancer Services do not constitute a substantial variation to health services for East Sussex residents; 

2) Submit a written response to the public consultation;

3) Write to any HOSC or Joint HOSC which is being formally consulted on the proposals asking them to consider issues that may be of concern or affect East Sussex patients when they scrutinise NHSE’s proposals, and take part in any informal HOSC meetings with other affected HOSCs to feed into the formal scrutiny process; and

4) Request a future update report on the proposed changes.



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