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The Royal Marsden

Cancer Hub delivers treatment during coronavirus pandemic

A new approach to cancer care across the capital has been introduced to ensure patients get the lifesaving treatments they need during the Covid-19 pandemic.

29 May 2020

Cancer services across London are now being coordinated by specialist ‘Cancer Hubs’ led by The Royal Marsden with The Royal Marsden’s local cancer alliance RM Partners, University College London Hospitals and Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals. They are working with major teaching hospitals including the Royal Free, Barts Health and Imperial, as well as local hospital partners.

As of May 29, The Royal Marsden hub has operated on over 761 patients from 10 Trusts across London whose surgery would not have been possible without the Cancer Hub. 

The Hub ensures NHS hospitals continue to deliver as much cancer treatment as possible across the capital, with an initial focus on surgery, which requires critical care beds.

It has also supported hospitals across the NHS and independent sector to work together to maximise capacity and ensure that people receive the treatment that they need.

Patients remain under the care of their doctor or nurse specialist at the trust where they are currently being cared for, however they may move to another site for surgery. The aim is to match patients who require cancer surgery with available capacity and the right expert clinical team, coordinating the specialist cancer workforce across the capital.

Decisions about the best approach to treatment will continue to be taken by specialist cancer doctors with their patients.

Dr Vin Diwakar, medical director for the NHS in London, said:

“Every NHS hospital is rightly carrying out as much cancer treatment as possible, while clearly needing to balance this against the risk to individuals posed by coronavirus.

“The coronavirus pandemic is the biggest health threat this country has faced in a century and the biggest challenge our health service has ever faced, which is exactly why the NHS is already increasing treatment capacity across all hospitals, while getting on with other options too, including new facilities and a landmark deal with private hospitals.”

Every NHS hospital is rightly carrying out as much cancer treatment as possible, while clearly needing to balance this against the risk to individuals posed by coronavirus

Dr Vin Diwakar, medical director for the NHS in London

Update: Sky News, Wednesday 29th April