• Ayrshire Daily News

Help shape future chemotherapy services in Ayrshire and Arran

NHS Ayrshire & Arran is currently engaging on proposals to adapt the way chemotherapy services are delivered, and they want your involvement.

The NHS Ayrshire & Arran say their priority is to have a high quality, safe, sustainable and accessible service, now and in the future which build on the excellent service already provided at University Hospital Crosshouse and University Hospital Ayr.


To plan for this they have developed local proposals to align with the West of Scotland Cancer Network (WOSCAN)'s shared solution, which is a tiered approach.


Under the proposals there will be three tiers of cancer service as follows:


  • Tier 1 – Regional cancer centre for the most complex treatments, chemoradiotherapy and clinical trials.

  • Tier 2 – Local cancer units for coordinating treatment for the main tumour types and some less common cancers and delivering treatments of medium complexity.

  • Tier 3 – Outreach facilities where patients can receive low risk treatments, these comprise approximately 75% of total treatments.


For patients living in Ayrshire and Arran, Tier 1 treatments will continue to be delivered at the Beatson Oncology Centre. There will be a single Tier 2 local cancer unit and at least one Tier 3 outreach facility.  A Tier 1 site can deliver treatment suitable for all tiers and a Tier 2 site can deliver treatment suitable for Tier 2 or Tier 3. Patients will be treated at the nearest site appropriately equipped to deliver the treatment they need.


Professor Hazel Borland, Nurse Director said:

“Further to work undertaken over the last year, the Chemotherapy Review Programme Board is recommending that our Tier 2 site should be at University Hospital Crosshouse and our initial Tier 3 site should be at University Hospital Ayr. I can reassure everyone that Station 15 at University Hospital Ayr is crucial to the success of this model. The proposal means that the Station 15 day ward will be expanded and developed so that we can plan to deliver more treatments for cancer patients who require straightforward chemotherapy, now and in the future.


“More complex cancers requiring hospital admission will be treated at University Hospital Crosshouse. As is currently the case, patients with the most difficult to treat and aggressive cancers will continue to be cared for at the Beatson in Glasgow.


“Under the new proposals the patient journey will change for some patients but not everyone. Some patients currently treated at the Beatson will be able to have their treatment in Ayrshire in the future, allowing them to be cared for closer to home and have less travel.


“Cancer treatments are evolving all the time, in the past decade there have been amazing developments in how we deliver chemotherapy. Healthcare and the way we deliver it is getting smarter. It can and does benefit from technological advances, like telehealthcare and video appointments, which can make life so much easier for our patients and their families.


“The change we are proposing is much more complex than trying to retain services exactly as they have been delivered in the past - this is not always best for patients, as treatments develop and improve. The clinical team that has been leading these proposals cares passionately about delivering the best service for the population of Ayrshire and Arran. Adapting the service will require investment in our staff and the care environment going forward.


“We have worked with staff, patients and stakeholders including the Scottish Health Council to carefully consider how to shape and invest in future services to best meet the needs of the people across Ayrshire and Arran. This has been a lengthy and considered process that has looked in-depth at impacts, both positive and negative for service users, so that the Board can be clear what is needed going forward for the future.


“I would urge anyone who is interested in helping to plan our future services to get involved in our engagement process, which is ongoing until 8 March 2020.”


You can complete an online Chemotherapy Service Review Feedback Survey here: www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/ChemoReview2020