Hospital to get new cancer centre

By Roddy AshworthA NEW specialist surgery centre for urology cancer patients will be built in Colchester instead of Ipswich.The site of the new unit, which should be operational by 2006, will be at Colchester General Hospital, it was announced yesterday.

By Roddy Ashworth

A NEW specialist surgery centre for urology cancer patients will be built in Colchester instead of Ipswich.

The site of the new unit, which should be operational by 2006, will be at Colchester General Hospital, it was announced yesterday.

Both Ipswich Hospital and Colchester General Hospital had bid to house the centre that will treat people needing complex surgery for urological cancer, which can attack the prostate gland, bladder or kidneys.


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A decision was made by the Mid Anglia Cancer Network executive board at a meeting on Friday and was finally made public yesterday.

In September last year a team of independent experts had recommended the centre should be based at Ipswich Hospital.

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But Dr David Blainey, lead clinician of Mid Anglia Cancer Network, said a subsequent written submission by Essex Rivers Healthcare Trust - which runs Colchester General - had thrown some doubt on the initial recommendation.

Brendan Osborne, chairman of Mid Anglia Cancer Network, said yesterday: “This was an exceptionally difficult decision as both hospitals had produced excellent proposals.

“We relied on a rigorous process to examine all of the information available and, on balance, the board concluded that the service proposed by Essex Rivers would provide greater benefits for patients.”

Colchester MP Bob Russell and Harwich MP Ivan Henderson, who had lobbied for the centre to be based in Colchester, welcomed the decision.

Mr Russell said: “I am very pleased and I would like to thank everybody involved in retrieving the situation when it was obvious the original decision was wrong.

“I sincerely hope we can put this behind us, and that the three hospitals concerned - in Colchester, Chelmsford and Ipswich - can proceed on with a united front to become a centre of excellence.”

Mr Henderson added: “The cancer treatment team led by Professor Chris Booth at Colchester provides an excellent service and it is extremely good news for everyone living in our area that these new urology services are to be located there.

“Bob Russell and I have been working very hard to bring this about and I am delighted that this massive investment into cancer treatment will be located at our local general hospital.”

roddy.ashworth@eadt.co.uk

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