The Democratic Services Officer advised that following publication of the papers for today's meeting the Director of Programmes and Primary Care at STCCG had been in touch to advise that she was unable to attend the health scrutiny panel during purdah.
In the post purdah period STCCG would be able to share with Members the final version of the Regional Breast Service Review Report, as drafted in 2017. A copy of the Clinical Strategy Development presentation, as delivered to the Durham, Darlington, Teesside, Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby (DDTHRW) STP Joint OSC on 27 November 2018 which included breast services, had also been provided and would be circulated to all Members.
In addition it was noted that in the post purdah period STCCG would be able to provide the panel with an update on the Clinical Strategy including the timeline for discussions with the public in relation to breast symptomatic services.
The Chair advised that he and another Member of the Panel had attended the Positively Pink Breast Cancer Support Group at JCUH's Holistic Centre on 3 April 2019 to speak directly to women affected. The views expressed by the ladies in attendance had been worse than the panel anticipated in terms of their experience.
Throughout the review the panel had been repeatedly assured that all women would be offered the opportunity to receive any treatment they required at the hospital of their choice and could return to JCUH if preferred. Yet this had not been the experience of the ladies in attendance at the support group.
The ladies in attendance had travelled between various sites to receive their radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment. Treatment had been provided at Hartlepool and the Friarage and there was no evidence of a care model being built around the needs of the patient. Some ladies had even travelled from JCUH to Northallerton mid treatment in order for an additional mammogram to be undertaken, owing to the lack of facilities at JCUH.
The Chair expressed the view that the current treatment offer was unacceptable and moved that a referral to the Secretary of State be made in respect of this issue. Currently there was no certainty for women about where their treatment would be provided, no public consultation had taken place and the provision of breast symptomatic services were now being subsumed in the draft Clinical Strategy, which had been due to be presented to Members of the DDTHRW STP Joint Scrutiny Committee in February 2019 but was yet to be finalised. The panel supported the view expressed by the Chair.
AGREED: That a formal referral to the Secretary of State be submitted by the Health Scrutiny Panel in respect of Breast Symptomatic Services in South Tees.