Expanding Radiotherapy services in Essex – Have your Say

Radiotherapy involves the use of high-energy x-rays to destroy cancercells. It is used to cure some cancers; to reduce the chances of cancercoming back after surgery; and to reduce the symptoms of cancer.
It is a specialist service that requires the right number of qualifiedstaff, efficient use of machines and ways of working that meet nationalstandards for treatment.  Because of this radiotherapy is not availablefrom every hospital in the UK.

The Essex Cancer Network (ECN) is a partnership of cancer specialists, NHS organisations and cancer user groups. Its aim is to improve cancerservices and clinical outcomes.

The ECN Board has recommended increasing, by the year 2016, the numberof machines that provide radiotherapy for cancer patients in Essex.  Themachines are called linear particle accelerators, usually linacs forshort.  They are expensive and have to be housed in lead-lined bunkerswith various special features.

Following a rigorous option appraisal, which included input fromnational experts in radiotherapy, the ECN Board is recommending apreferred option of increasing the number of linac machines at thecurrent unit in Southend and in a planned new location in Colchester, asthe option delivering most benefits to patients overall.

However this option does not improve access and travel times, whichwould improve for some people with the establishment of a newradiotherapy unit at Broomfield Hospital.  It is largely for this reasonthat the PCT’s are keen to hear local views before reaching a finaldecision.

A discussion document and information is available from: www.midessex.nhs.uk; or in hard copy from [email protected]; or telephone 01245 459473.

Staff will be available to listen to views at informal ‘drop-in’ sessions below. All welcome, no need to book.

There will also be workshop-style discussion at each of the locations below where senior clinicians will be able to explain more about the proposals and listen to views. Residents are asked to book places at the discussion workshops online at www.midessex.nhs.uk;

or by contacting the communications team at NHS Mid Essex (details above).

Monday 11 April in Basildon

2.30pm to 4.30pm – Drop-in

6.30pm to 8.30pm – Discussion workshop

St Martin of Tours Church Hall, Town Square Basildon, SS14 1DX

Tuesday 12 April in Southend-on-Sea

2.30pm to 4.30pm – Drop-in

6.30pm to 8.30pm – Discussion workshop

Southend Association of Voluntary Services, 29 Alexandra Street, Southend on Sea, SS1 1BW

Monday 18 April in Colchester

2.30pm to 4.30pm – Drop-in

6.30pm to 8.30pm – Discussion workshop

Essex County Hospital Training and Development Centre, Essex County Hospital, Lexden Road, Colchester, CO3 3NB

Wednesday 20 April in Chelmsford

2.30pm to 4.30pm – Drop-in

6.30pm to 8.30pm – Discussion workshop

Central Baptist Church, Lower Hall, Victoria Road South, Chelmsford


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