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Plans to move Clatterbridge Centre for oncology to Royal Liverpool Hospital still being discussed

Posted on Jul 26, 2011

THE Royal Liverpool Hospital is still pushing through plans to move Merseyside’s cancer services from Wirral to the city, the News can reveal. The plans would see Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology (CCO) relocating to the Royal’s site on Prescot Street. Health chiefs stressed no proposals had been drawn up, but board papers seen by the News reveal regular meetings are being held about the move. The Wirral hospital is one of the largest cancer centres in the UK, carrying out radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

The proposal was first put to the Merseyside and Cheshire primary care boards in 2008 by cancer specialist Prof Mark Baker.

His report said that most oncology services “should be relocated from Clatterbridge to Liverpool”.

He said this would mean all Merseyside patients had fair access to cancer care and that expertise would be centred in one place.

Frank Field, MP for Birkenhead, defended the merits of the Clatterbridge site in 2009.

He said: “Previously all the Wirral MPs have defended our commitment to the Clatterbridge site.

“If the board can now convince us that it is in the clear interests of patients that we rethink where services can best be provided from, we will obviously be anxious to listen.

“But patients must come first and then we need to ensure that staff support any proposed changes.”

Hospital board papers read: “The Chair referred to the Strategy Overview Group meeting held with Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology (CCO) and added that she was pleased to report that a second meeting to discuss relocation of CCO on the Royal site had been scheduled.”

A spokeswoman for both hospitals said no proposal had been put forward, and added the meetings were part of general plans to improve healthcare in Merseyside.

Alison McGovern, MP for Wirral south, said: “CCO is amazing, the quality of care is so high and we do not want that to be disrupted.

“We all want to make sure patients get the best specialist care possible and people will travel that bit further if they know the care will improve.”

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