The Chairman welcomed Nick Kennell from NHS England to the meeting, who gave a short presentation on the project to create integrated Cancer and Cardiovascular systems to provide local and specialist care.
Members were advised of the level of engagement to date and noted that a report on phase one engagement and an options appraisal report would be available later this month. The London Clinical Senate was undertaking an independent clinical assurance of the proposals, the outcome of which would inform commissioners’ preferred recommendations. These would in turn be outlined in the initial business case to be published by early April.
With regards to the Major Trauma Centre, Mr Kennell outlined the key issues which had been identified from the clinically-led workshop held on 16thJanuary, and reported that a programme of work was being arranged to address these and mitigate risks.
Phase two of the project, a series of engagement events and information, would follow the publication of the initial business case in April, after which planning for implementation and development of commissioner assurance, oversight frameworks and a decision-making business case could begin.
Councillor Ben Hayhurst opened the questioning by asking whether NHS England could guarantee Cancer and Cardiovascular funding would not be reduced as a result of the consolidation of specialist centres?
Mr Kennell responded that NHS England were unable to guarantee funding levels wouldn’t be affected as the cost of delivering services would change, but assured Members that the project was driven by clinical advantages not financial reasons.
Councillor Terrance Paul queried when local residents would start to see the positive impact of consolidating services.
Mr Kennell replied that the figure of 1800 lives being saved as a result of the changes was the potential figure; the next stage was to prepare a schedule of how the changes would be implemented. Councillor Paul followed up on this response, stating that Members wanted to know outcomes in terms of health, not the processes involved, and asked for a future presentation to address this.
With regard to two cancer site being turned into one, Dhruv Patel asked whether proton beam therapy would be available at the UCL Cancer Institute.
Mr Kennell advised that proton beam therapy was not part of the clinical appraisal as it was not core to service delivery and treatment.
In response to a follow up question from the Chairman regarding NICE guidance (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence), Mr Kennell reported that the guidance regarding prostate cancer was currently being revised, and that part of the London Clinical Senate review was to assess the impact of that change.
Councillor Ann Munn asked when a report concerning Phase two of the project would come back to the INEL JHOSC, considering the Elections taking place in May.
Mr Kennell confirmed that final decision making was anticipated for summer 2014, and Members agreed that a future presentation would be scheduled closer to the time.