Agenda item

The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre Update


Helen Porter, Director of Nursing & Quality, The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, gave a verbal update report on the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre proposals regarding the retention of cancer services at the Clatterbridge site in Wirral and establishing a new comprehensive Clatterbridge Cancer Centre in conjunction with the new Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital Trust.


Miss Porter reported that clinical experts recognised and supported the case for re-designing non-surgical cancer services in Merseyside and Cheshire as it presented the opportunity to provide truly integrated cancer care; locating a comprehensive cancer centre on an acute hospital site would improve care for all cancer patients.


Miss Porter indicated that Clatterbridge was the cancer centre to provide chemotherapy to general hospitals and was currently running a pilot scheme offering chemotherapy services at GP surgeries and patient homes; along with the introduction of mobile clinics which would reduce patient travelling times and offer improved access to services.


Miss Porter further highlighted the key principles behind the proposals; which was to ensure that access to care was as close to patients homes as possible; chemotherapy and radiology treatments which no longer needed in-patient care could be dealt with locally and only those with complex needs be treated at hospital. At present those patients requiring additional acute treatment had to access it via other hospitals, making the transfer of patients and doctors difficult. It was hoped that this would be alleviated due the range services that could be offered on the shared site. Research facilities would also be improved; this agenda was at present very strong but restricted to clinical trials as there were no facilities to support patients if they had developed complications.


Miss Porter concluded that the proposals would improve the Cancer Centre in general, specifically the travelling times, improve service provision and research facilities. A series of public engagement events and road shows were to take place during 2012/2013 across the Cheshire and Merseyside region, and to launch the engagement activity programme each respective Hospital Trust would host a launch event: 


The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre event would be held at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre on 9th July 3.30 until 5.00pm at the Post Graduate Centre, Clatterbridge Centre Site


The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital trust would be held at the Liverpool Medical Institute, 114h Mount Pleasant, Liverpool L3 5SR on 12th July 2012, at 2pm until 4pm.


An invitation to Members was extended and plans to engage patients; public and wider stakeholders would take place over the next 6-12 months prior to any formal consultation.


During the course of discussion on this item, Councillor McLaughlin declared a personal interest by virtue of her being a former employee of Clatterbridge Hospital.


It was reported that six options were looked at as part of the business planning process and each option individually evaluated; further evaluation of the options would be undertaken during the consultation process and the strategic planning process would be dealt with further down the line. Acute Oncology services were provided The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre in every Trust with an A & E Department but the changing needs of oncology patients meant that there was a need for an improvement of outpatient services to patients. The proposed Royal Liverpool Hospital site was located close to the university; therefore it was the clinical consensus that the site would be the most suitable. 


In relation to alleged leaking of the proposals to the press Ms Porter explained that the proposals in relation to the Cancer Centre had been in the pipeline for some time and that discussions had taken place with the Royal Liverpool Hospital at their Board meeting, minutes of which were published on their web site which was subsequently picked up and reported on by members of the press.


Members raised concern that public perception may be that Clatterbridge would be surplus to requirements if services such as chemotherapy would be offered to patients at GP surgeries and in their own homes. In response, Miss Porter explained that Clatterbridge would still remain a fully functioning cancer centre offering a range of services to patients, and a wider range of services to those with complex needs.


Chemotherapy services were currently provided by private companies employed by cancer centres as they are able to bypass the VAT loop hole to enable them to provide patients with more expensive treatments, The Cancer Centre were looking into to do doing this, meaning that there would be no change in costs making it a saveable model. The number of in-patients would reduce over time which is what the centres aimed to achieve. Changes in chemotherapy and palliative care and targeted personalised chemotherapy were changing due to the advances in research and radiotherapy had much less side effects.


In relation to the funding, it was reported that this was to be provided from the commissioners and NHS, with a fifth of the funding to come from fundraising. Members asked that a more detailed report be submitted to a future meeting with full details of the proposals to include consultation, financial information and details of the options considered. Dr Phil Jennings, Designate Chair, NHS Wirral CCG agreed to liaise with the appropriate officers to submit a report to a future meeting.




(1)  Ms Helen Porter be thanked for her verbal report; and


(2)  Dr Phil Jennings, Designate Chair, NHS Wirral CCG be requested to liaise with the appropriate officers to submit a report to a future meeting regarding the full details of the proposals, to include consultation, financial information and details of the options considered.