We have superb cancer services in Merseyside and Cheshire. The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust – the specialist cancer hospital for this area – is nationally renowned and consistently ranks as one of the best in the country, both for quality of care and patient feedback. In February 2017 we were officially rated as 'outstanding' by the Care Quality Commission.
But if we are to ensure that people here are truly to benefit from world-class cancer care in the coming years, we cannot stand still. We need to Transform Cancer Care for the following reasons:
- The number of people with cancer is set to rise as the population ages. We need to expand cancer services to meet that demand so people right across Merseyside and Cheshire can access the best specialist care.
- The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre doesn’t have access to intensive care or medical and surgical specialties on its main site in Wirral. This is increasingly important in providing the best care to the sickest patients. Someone with cancer may need input from a heart or kidney specialist, for example, while having treatment. At the moment, they may have to be transferred by ambulance to another hospital for this, interrupting their cancer care.
- The Wirral site isn’t centrally located for the Merseyside and Cheshire population it serves. Around 63% of The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre’s current patients live closer to central Liverpool than to Wirral.
- To continue providing the best cancer care, The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre’s experts need to carry out research and clinical trials. At the moment we can’t carry out some cutting-edge trials because they can only take place in centres with intensive care and other key specialties on site. Patients from Merseyside and Cheshire are missing out on opportunities to take part in these trials.
Why more cancer research is so important
Providing the best cancer care to people in Merseyside and Cheshire requires health professionals with the most advanced expertise in their field and who carry out clinical trials of new treatments that patients can access.
Our area already has a good reputation for certain kinds of cancer research but there is research we can’t do because The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre doesn’t have intensive care and medical and surgical specialties on site. It’s also not that close to the university and other key research partners.
Having a new cancer centre on the same site as the Royal Liverpool University Hospital and the University of Liverpool would significantly increase the amount and type of cancer research we could do, with massive benefits for patients for generations to come.