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Cancer and cardiac shake-up in London

20th February 2013

Three London teaching hospitals have unveiled plans for a major service reorganisation.

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The move will see University College London Hospitals (UCLH), Royal Free London and Barts Health Trust exchange responsibility for providing key specialised services.

Under the proposed reorganisation, specialist cardiac services would move from UCLH to Barts and specialist urological cancer surgery will transfer to UCLH and the Royal Free.

All three hospitals are members of UCL Partners, the academic health science centre partnership covering north and east London, which drew up plans it described as a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to remodel cancer and cardiac care.

UCL Partners managing director Professor David Fish said the days of every large teaching hospital trying to do everything “are possibly behind us.”

He said he had been impressed by the level of co-operation between the trusts over the proposal.

UCLH chief executive Sir Robert Naylor said: “When I came to UCLH 12 years ago we were trying to do everything. Over time we have decided there are only two things we can be world-class at, neuroscience and cancer. It’s not possible anymore for everyone to do everything.”

He said the concentration of expertise would allow Barts to compete with international cardiac centres as it created a combined cardiac centre which will be one of the biggest cardiac surgical units in the UK, with more than 2,200 procedures a year, while UCLH would be in a position to compete with the world’s leading cancer centres.

The changes will be introduced over the next three years.

 

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