NHS England has stressed that any decisions made regarding the future of the Mount Vernon Cancer Centre (MVCC) in Northwood will be planned with patients and only take place after public consultation.
Last month, NorthwoodNews reported that patients at the centre were concerned that the facility could be moved to central London after an urgent review of MVCC in which it said the building it’s located in is dangerous, its equipment nearly unusable and its staff too thinly spread to sufficiently look after patients.
NHS England has since moved to reassure local residents and patients that any decisions made on the long-term future of the centre will be made in conjunction with past and forthcoming public consultations.
East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, which runs the MVCC, has been involved in a process to appoint a specialist cancer organisation to run the services from April 2021.
If all goes well during a period of ‘due diligence’, University College London Hospitals (UCLH) will run the Mount Vernon services instead.
UCLH will run the existing services from the existing Northwood site, at least until a decision is made on the long-term future of MVCC services.
In an email to the Northwood Residents’ Association, NHS England said: “Patients and people living in Northwood and the surrounding areas, can get involved in planning how cancer services will be provided in the future.
“The NHS in the East of England and North London is looking at how to improve the services provided by the MVCC and is putting together a plan which will see locals working with doctors and nurses to create some options.
“Last year, patients took part in a series of workshops and completed a survey to provide feedback about their experiences of the current services and their thoughts on what considerations should be made in planning for the future.
“If changes are proposed in future, they will be planned with patients and only take place after public consultation. The NHS wants any changes to make access to cancer services better for patients, not worse, and the options that are developed should aim to do that. Formal public consultation is most likely to take place in January 2021, enabling a decision in May 2021.”