GOVERNMENT REFUSES TO INVESTIGATE HEAD AND NECK CANCER RECOMMENDATION
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GOVERNMENT REFUSES TO INVESTIGATE HEAD AND NECK CANCER RECOMMENDATION

The government is refusing to investigate the recommendation by the Three Counties Cancer Network to move all head and neck cancer services from Worcester to Gloucestershire. That is the conclusion of local MP Peter Luff after receiving replies to a series of parliamentary questions from Health Minister Ann Keen.

In her replies she made it clear she would not intervene to save Worcestershire’s specialist cancer services. She told Peter that authority for this decision was not in the hands of the national body overseeing the implementation of cancer services in England. She said that

“…it is for primary care trusts as commissioners of local services to implement guidance in conjunction with… other stakeholders”.

Peter commented,

“I see this as an abdication of responsibility by the government. A flawed decision making process in which data has been misleadingly presented and in which deadlines were artificially stretched to suit one bidder demands government intervention.

“Instead they are relying on local consultation - but so far, no public consultation has taken place and no one knows where we stand.

“The government has missed an opportunity to intervene to ensure this vital issue is handled fairly. This is not just about specialist head and neck cancer services – it is about the whole future of wider cancer services in Worcestershire. That is why they should take responsibility for a decision which could potentially affect thousands of people in the county. “


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