Agenda item

Mount Vernon Cancer Centre Strategic Review Update


Ms Jessamy Kinghorn, Head of Partnerships and Engagement at NHS England and Improvement (NHSE/I) – East of England, advised that non-surgical cancer services were currently provided at Mount Vernon Hospital.  An independent clinical review of the service had been undertaken in 2019 followed by significant patient and public engagement which had resulted in identifying the preferred option to relocate to a site next to Watford General Hospital.  Alongside this had been the development of proposals to deliver some care closer to home, for example chemotherapy at Hillingdon Hospital and improved radiotherapy in the north of the East of England area.


University College London Hospital (UCLH) had been identified as the new provider of cancer services at Mount Vernon Cancer Centre (MVCC), working with the current provider, and had submitted a proposal for the new hospital site.  There continued to be a lot of competition for the eight spaces on the new hospital scheme so consideration had been given to what would happen if MVCC was not included as one of these eight.  The options had been revisited and consideration had been given to the ‘What ifs’.  Although the potential to add capacity elsewhere in the system had been looked at, this was not thought to be a viable solution so a new centre at Watford had remained the best option (which was also supported by everyone).  However, Ms Kinghorn continued to work with the national team as well as UCLH to exhaust all possible alternative options. 


Although the project just needed the funding to be approved, Members asked whether this would be a straight yes or no.  Insofar as inclusion in the new hospital programme was concerned, it was likely to be a straight yes or no.  With regard to the capital funding, work had already been undertaken to look at building a smaller cancer centre in the East of England.  However, the financial model had been developed and it had identified that there was no benefit over the preferred option so work would continue with the preferred option. 


Ms Kinghorn advised that Healthwatch Hillingdon had been involved and had sat on the Programme Board.  The increase in radiotherapy at Hammersmith and chemotherapy at Hillingdon would provide residents with a wider choice and £7.5 million had been invested at MVCC to improve the Chemotherapy Suite and the main Outpatients Department.  Following feedback from patients, the introduction of Chemotherapy at Home would provide patients with even more choice whilst reducing the number of times that they would have to visit a cancer centre.  However, once available, this treatment would not be suitable for everyone but would be particularly helpful to those in areas of high deprivation with a strong reliance on public transport.  Members asked that they receive an update on the timescales for bringing this online and that this be added to the Committee’s work programme for a future meeting. 


Members were advised that each NHS region had its own Clinical Senate which reviewed changes to clinical services and was made up of doctors and nurses.  Four new cancer treatments had been approved nationally in recent months.  This would result in around 260 additional patients being able to receive treatment at MVCC, equating to an estimated additional 2,577 visits to MVCC to receive treatment and 2,827 outpatient appointments. 


Members were advised that patients who were transferred to MVCC continued to be monitored to ensure that the transfer was appropriate and to identify any learning.  Census data was being interrogated to review the equalities impact assessment and post-Covid activity predictions had been revisited, indicating that MVCC performance continued to be strong. 


Staff turnover and vacancies continued to be monitored and it was noted that there had been some provision of mutual aid. 



1.    Ms Kinghorn liaise with the Democratic Services Manager arrange an update on the timescales for Chemotherapy at Home for a future meeting; and

2.    the update on the Mount Vernon Cancer Centre strategic review be noted.

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