The Board considered a report of the Strategic Director, Communities which presented Members with details of the proposals for change and expansion of the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre Services, the rationale for these changes and the implications. The following representatives from Clatterbridge Hospital attended the meeting to present the proposals: Fiona Jones - Project Director, Dr. Nicky Thorp - Assistant Medical Director, Emer Scott - Associate Director of Strategic Communications. Ms Jacqueline Robinson, NHS Cheshire & Merseyside Commissioning Support Unit.
The Board was advised that formal notification had been received from NHS England (NHSE) Cheshire, Warrington and Wirral Area Team Specialised Commissioning, as the accountable commissioners, and Clatterbridge Cancer Centre (CCC) NHS Foundation Trust, as the providers of cancer care for the people in Halton, of the proposed changes to the services provided by CCC. The details of the proposals, the background and consultation plan were attached at Appendix 1-6 of the report.
It was reported that the Board would need to consider the proposals and agree that they constituted a significant variation to the services provided to the residents of Halton. If this was agreed then the proposals would be subject to joint scrutiny as determined by the protocol for establishment of joint health scrutiny arrangements for Cheshire and Merseyside. The protocol had been agreed by full Council in April 2014. Following the agreed protocol, it was likely that the lead Authority would be Liverpool or Wirral.
The following comments arose from the discussion:-
· The Board raised concern at the transport issue and the cost of car parking for residents indicating that Halton was a deprived area and there would be a substantial cost for the residents. It was also reported that to get to The Royal in Liverpool, Halton residents would have to take three buses, which resulted in a long journey and a significant cost to the resident. Concern was also raised that numerous services were being placed in The Royal Hospital, Liverpool and the footfall would significantly increase. In response, it was reported that car parking on the Liverpool and Clatterbridge sites would be free. It was also reported that discussions would take place with Merseytravel to enhance the bus services. In addition, it was reported that the proposals would give patients greater options and some of those patients would be treated more locally than at the present time. An assurance was given that Members would receive more detailed information on transport via the patient journeys that will be developed in the future;
· Clarity was sought on waiting times and whether they would be affected or improved. In response, it was reported that the waiting times at Clatterbridge were very good. However, patients only attended the services provided by Clatterbridge further down the patients pathway as they had already been diagnosed or had surgery. However, it was reported that the increased capacity would make treatments more accessible;
· It was suggested that Fazakerley would have been the ideal location for such services as it was easily accessible and was not affected by traffic congestion;
· The Board noted the plans for consultation on the proposals i.e. 47 road shows (14 in Halton), 103 charities and shops would be involved, Healthwatch had been working closely with the Trust on this matter and a number of libraries, Community Centres and GP surgeries would also be involved;
· It was agreed that the pre consultation report be circulated to all Members of the Board; and
· The importance of the Trust working with the private sector companies and pharmaceutical companies to undertake drug research was noted. It was also noted that the development of new drugs was very expensive and required a significant number of patients to be involved, very often without achieving a successful outcome as the drug had been too toxic or not effective. It was reported that it was hoped that the proposals would put Clatterbridge on the map. It was noted that drug development required oncology working together with access to professionalism and intensive care and that was not currently available at the site. However, the proposals for the new site would result in being able to take up early stage trials and to start to develop new treatments.
(1) The report and comments raised be noted; and
(2) The Board agree that these that these proposals constitute a significant variation to services provided to the residents of Halton and as such agree to a joint scrutiny of the proposals as outlined in paragraph 3.3 and 3.4 of the report.