HC Deb 10 April 2000 vol 348 c6W
Mr. Brady

To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he intends to announce a designated centre for cancer surgery for the north-west. [116751]

Yvette Cooper

The North West Regional Office of the National Health Service Executive is developing three cancer services networks across Merseyside and Cheshire, Lancashire and South Cumbria and Greater Manchester, comprising cancer centres for oncology and their associated cancer units. This is consistent with the approach that has been adopted by the National Cancer Director and is supported by him.

Cancer surgery for common cancers will continue to be carried out in designated local cancer units. Given the complex distribution of surgery for less common and rare cancers within each cancer network, it will not always be appropriate to designate a single hospital within each network for surgery for these cancers. Surgery for the less common and rare cancers in the north-west will be provided in accordance with national guidance, within managed clinical networks which will comprise a cluster of hospitals working with their associated oncology centre. Different hospitals may lead on surgery for specific cancers within this less common and rare group.

This approach was acknowledged in the original Calman/Hine report to be necessary in some parts of the country, and is consistent with that already adopted in other parts of the country.