Assurance is too late

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I am writing in response to the letter on October 1 regarding the “Reassurance of future breast cancer service in Sunderland Royal Hospital”.

I must say to David Gallagher, Chief Officer of NHS Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), that you are now trying to reassure breast cancer patients after the service was withdrawn nine months ago.

The CCG should not have waited all this time before making contact with patients through the Sunderland Echo letters page.

David Gallagher states a decision was made in December 2014 to temporarily suspend breast services in the city, as the Trust is currently unable to provide a consultant-led service.

Cancer patients are asking why? No explanation has been given as to the reason they are unable to provide a consultant-led service.

Other hospitals such as Queen Elizabeth, Durham, Newcastle, Bishop Auckland etc are able to provide this service so why not Sunderland?

Why can’t Sunderland Royal request consultants to be on loan from other hospitals to carry on this service at Sunderland until these issues or difficulties are sorted out?

Consultants from Oncology Departments and various other departments have been coming to Sunderland from other hospitals for years. Why not breast care?

Breast cancer patients who were being treated before the closure in December 2014 have had to wait for continuation of treatment, such as reconstruction surgery as there are no consultants available in Sunderland.

Some patients have had to travel to different hospitals to discuss reconstruction when they thought they would have this service at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

This is not an acceptable situation for cancer patients.

No way to treat

cancer patients