Thomas seeks clarification from ministers over Cornwall’s NHS plans

West Cornwall MP Derek Thomas has met with health campaigners to discuss the current situation with regard to health and social care in Cornwall.

Wide-ranging changes designed to help integrate health and social care services, not least the creation of an ACO, are being planned as part of the current Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) process.

Members of Health Initiative Cornwall (HIC) are concerned that many significant changes are already being made – both with regard to changing how the social care system is structured and to the overall management organisation – before proper consultation with the general public has taken place and before the STP has even made its final recommendations.

West Cornwall MP Derek Thomas

Derek said it had been a’ very constructive and informative meeting’.

“I met the HIC campaigners the day after I had spoken to Health Minister Philip Dunne about the health system in Cornwall and I was able to give reassurances that the Government is taking a very close interest in ensuring that the right decisions are made with regard to how health and social care should be shaped in the future” he said.

“The campaigners also posed a number of questions which I will take back to the Department of Health and their responses should give greater clarity on the way forward.”

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He has also sought clarification over reports that various radiotherapy cancer treatments could be moved from Cornwall to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth.

After being contacted by a number of constituents concerned over the news that NHS England is looking at creating 11 regional Radiotherapy Networks across the UK – none in Cornwall which would leave some patients with certain cancers having to travel sometimes daily to Plymouth for treatment.  Mr Thomas says when hearing of it he immediately wrote to Jackie Pendleton, chief executive of the Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group (KCCG), asking for more information.

“I am keeping a close eye on this and will work to secure what is right for patients,” he said.

“The KCCG say that the proposal has been led by NHS England but that a public question has been sent to the KCCG’s governing body and that more information should be available very soon.

“Once that information is available I will be in a better position to act to ensure that cancer patients in West Cornwall are not placed at a disadvantage when it comes to getting the best radiotherapy treatment possible.”