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Committee says it is against the proposal to move cancer care from King's Lynn hospital

By Lynn News Reporter

Members of Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital's Hospital Medical Staff Committee (HMSC) joined together for an extraordinary emergency meeting yesterday to discuss the proposals to transfer surgery and cancer care from the QEH to Norwich.

Officials said they also discussed some of the underlying problems partially highlighted in the recent CQC report and "the current way the QEH is portrayed in the press".

A large number of senior clinicians attended, along with several members of the West Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), as well as the new interim chairman of the QEH Foundation Trust, Professor Steve Barnett.

QEH General Views of the outside of the hospital (2244901)
QEH General Views of the outside of the hospital (2244901)

The committee said the members of the CCG were unaware of the details regarding the proposal for cancer patients to have surgery at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in case beds become short at the QEH, but shared concerns regarding safety for patients and QEH staff.

"The HMSC is against the proposal as it creates many serious risks for staff and patients, for very little gain," the committee said.

Local stroke services, breast care and colorectal cancer services were among a long list of areas of "clinical excellence" that the clinicians presented to the meeting.

"All present felt that the way the hospital is portrayed in the press as failing has a negative impact on staff morale and also on the way the QEH is seen in the local community," the committee said.

"Celebrating what is good and great gives the motivation and determination to tackle the serious shortcomings highlighted in the recent CQC report."

Clinicians also used the opportunity to brief the audience about improvement projects, particularly in relation to improved patient care leading to reduced bed occupancy and also admission avoidance.

"Many of these were clinically trialled but failed to secure funding and approval within the hospital," the committee added.

"Again, the CCG representatives were mainly unaware of these projects and keen to learn more details so they could consider the funding.

"It was very clear that communication of the trust with relevant outside organisations, but particularly within the organisation requires significant improvements.

"Prof Steve Barnett as the new chair of the hospital trust declared that he will make this to one of his important and immediate targets."

A decision on the plans to transfer surgery and cancer care from QEH to the NNUH has been delayed as assessments of the proposals, set to be put to board members today, are still continuing.

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