Concerns over breast unit

PUBLISHED: 11:32 26 January 2006 | UPDATED: 09:30 06 May 2010

BREAST cancer services at Lister Hospital are not good enough, according to a member of a local patient group. North Herts and Stevenage PCT are currently considering where breast cancer patients in our area should be treated. They could use a brand new

BREAST cancer services at Lister Hospital are not good enough, according to a member of a local patient group.

North Herts and Stevenage PCT are currently considering where breast cancer patients in our area should be treated.

They could use a brand new unit, soon to be completed in Welwyn Garden City, or continue to attend clinics at the Lister.

But Mary Taylor, chairman of the North Herts and Stevenage Breast Cancer Support Group, said facilities at Lister are not suitable and a move to the new unit would be a "positive step". She said: "The only concern surrounds getting there because some patients rely on public transport."

She said the facilities at the new centre will be dedicated to breast cancer. "The environment at Lister Hospital is not acceptable. The new unit is purposely built and everyone visiting is in the same boat which is a comfort. It can only be a good thing."

Jill Peters, chief executive of North Herts and Stevenage PCT, said: "The future for the Lister breast services has yet to be decided and we would like to offer those patients the same chance to be treated in surroundings which match up to the excellent care already being provided by our breast care team."

Patients and the public are reminded that there is still time to respond to the NHS consultation. For more information visit www.nhst-pct.nhs.uk and click on consultation.

* STAFF have given their blessing to plans to make changes to Lister Hospital, according to an NHS Trust.

Discussions have taken place between East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, hospital staff and independent national experts. They have decided not to make any alterations to proposed changes to Lister Hospital which were first announced in October.

Those proposals include having the Lister dealing with all the surgery for the Trust and all maternity services.

The staff consultation has led to the Trust refining the clinical model for the QEII hospital where there will be a paediatric hot clinic - to deal with urgent but not emergency cases - and an intensive care unit. In previous proposals they were not included.

The final proposals will be taken to the Trust's board in March. From there formal public consultation will be undertaken.

The proposals are an interim model for 2008 until a new hospital opens in Hatfield in 2013.

Land for the new £500m superhospital has been bought at Hatfield Business Park.

On Tuesday the East and North Herts NHS Trust announced it had signed a "heads of terms" - the first stage of a contract - with landowner Arlington for the site on the former BAe airfield.

It was also announced that Japanese pharmaceutical giant Eisai is to open a new European base on adjoining land - with the creation of up to 500 jobs.

Trust chairman Richard Beazley said the co-location of facilities would give a "rare opportunity to develop a centre of integrated medical, pharmaceutical and academic excellence".

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