Barrow hospital cancer care change horrifies union
Last updated at 16:04, Friday, 15 March 2013
UNION officials have blasted plans to drastically change the provision of care to cancer patients in Furness General Hospital.
A community campaign was launched after hospital bosses announced proposals to relocate oncology and haematology inpatients from the dedicated oncology unit.
The University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, which runs FGH, said such patients would be moved to a “dedicated area” on one of the acute medical wards and it “would not in any way affect the treatment”.
But Tim Ellis, a regional organiser for Unison who joined campaigners outside FGH on Wednesday, said: “We’re absolutely horrified by the proposals. It will mean a loss of provision to the people of the Furness General area. There’s no way people undertaking chemotherapy can be safely cared for in a non-specialist inpatient unit.
“It will disperse the doctor who is required to oversee the care of these patients and produce a clear clinical risk. And we’re unaware of any consultation with the Clinical Commissioning Group, the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee, nor the public.”
Melissa Fox, 58, of St Francis Gardens, Barrow, received care for breast cancer at FGH and questioned the safety of the move.
She said: “I’m lucky. I’m on my last chemotherapy next week, then I have to go to Preston and hopefully I don’t have to go back again. The staff here are fantastic. I can’t understand why they want to alter it.”
Hilary Thomson’s husband Jimmy died in the unit.
The 65-year-old, of Walney, said: “The treatment he got was absolutely second-to-none and they shouldn’t be doing this.
“It was actually funded by the public in the beginning, so how they can be thinking about this it, I don’t know. It’s diabolical.”
George Nasmyth, trust medical director, said: “The aim of the relocation is to continue to improve patient safety and access to medical intervention.
“It’s important I reiterate this does not involve removing oncology or haematology services from the hospital, or shutting the current oncology unit that was supported with funds raised by local people.”
Darren McSweeney, who set up FGH Cancer Care Campaign, wrote in a letter to Jackie Daniel, UHMBT chief executive: “The strength of feeling locally cannot be denied on this issue.’’
l AN online petition has been launched to save the oncology service at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/47084.
First published at 16:01, Friday, 15 March 2013
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
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I think that it is absolutely diabolical to even think of closing the oncology unit at the Furness General Hospital, please do not close this ONCOLOGY UNIT at F.G.H. it is an esentual unit and i can't see how this unit could work within a general ward both for safety and hygene DO NOT CLOSE THE ONCOLOGY WARD AT F.G.H.
please do NOT close the oncology unit at F.G.H. as I beleive that it is the best place within the hospital to have this unit and all the staff are so dedicated to there work
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