E&NH0008 Breast cancer unit gets one step closer Stevenage, UK – 9 May 2003 – East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust today confirmed that it would be recommending to its Board that a dedicated outpatient facility for women with breast cancer should be located at its Queen Elizabeth II hospital in Welwyn Garden City. This marks a further vital step in realising the dream of the East and Herts Breast Cancer Appeal, which has raised over £600,000 towards the development of a new outpatient service in east Hertfordshire. Recommending a preferred location for an outpatient breast cancer service is just the first hurdle that the Trust and its supporters has to overcome if the new unit is to become a reality. The Trust now needs to undertake further work, namely: • developing detailed budgets for the costs involved in building the new facility; • preparing proposals for handling the current volume of radiological work for breast cancer cases, as well as viable solutions to overcome existing recruitment problems within radiology; • discussing all of these proposals with wider groups of local patient and public support groups, as well as community health councils, local primary care trusts and other interested bodies. Once these various steps have been completed the Trust will know whether or not it has secured the vital support and funding to guarantee the future for a new outpatient breast cancer service in east Hertfordshire. Commenting on the decision reached to recommend that a new outpatient breast cancer service be located at the Queen Elizabeth II hospital, Vicki Adkins from the East and North Herts Breast Cancer Appeal said: “I’m thrilled that at last we are getting closer to having a new breast cancer facility being built. While there is still a lot more work to be done, I feel that it’s now just a matter of time before women and their families get an even better service than they receive now.” 2/Breast cancer unit gets one step closer Nick Carver, East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust’s chief executive, said: “Although I’ve only been at the Trust for a few months, I know how hard Vicki and her supporters, along with many of my NHS colleagues, have worked to get this far. The money that the Appeal has raised means that we have a good chance of gaining the necessary support and on-going funding that will be needed to see a new breast cancer service becoming a reality.” A steering group has now been set up to take the project forward over the coming months. Its membership includes Vicki Adkins, along with clinical specialists and management representatives from the Trust, as well as West Hertfordshire NHS Trust and Welwyn and Hatfield Primary Care Trust. - Ends Notes to editors • Vicki Adkins, a former patient at the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, founded the East and North Herts Breast Cancer Appeal in 1998. • Since its formation, the Appeal has raised over £600,000 to fund a dedicated outpatient facility for breast cancer patients in east and north Hertfordshire. • Outpatient breast cancer services are provided currently on each of the Trust’s three hospital sites: Hertford County, Lister and Queen Elizabeth II • The decision to recommend Queen Elizabeth II as the preferred location for a new outpatient breast cancer service was reached following an options appraisal carried out by a team of 21 specialists representing the views of: the charity, clinical specialties (breast surgery, plastic surgery, nursing, oncology, radiology, pathology and the local NHS Cancer Network), patients and NHS management, including primary care. • The appraisal considered six options for the location of an outpatient breast cancer service: Lister hospital, Stevenage Queen Elizabeth II hospital, Welwyn Garden City Hertford County hospital, Hertford Ambulance headquarters site, Welwyn Garden City St Albans City hospital, St Albans (with West Hertfordshire NHS Trust) Satellite/outreach centre at the Queen Elizabeth II hospital, with central service provision at St Albans City hospital • The options appraisal team scored Queen Elizabeth II hospital the highest in terms of all the benefit criteria that had been agreed as the most important for delivering a better service for women with possible breast cancer. • The benefit criteria against which the six options were assessed were: access and availability; patient-centred or patient guided care; multi-disciplinary team working; sustainability and service development; capacity and flexibility; patient safety; recruitment and retention of staff; deliverability; strategic context. For more information, please call Peter Gibson, head of communications and public relations, on: 01438 781522 (direct line); for out-of-hours, please page him on 07659 103839.
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