STRUCTURE: Oxford University Hospitals Trust is planning to move its head and neck cancer services from John Radcliffe Hospital to nearby Churchill Hospital as part of plans to develop a major cancer centre on the site.

However the transfer cannot take place until the beginning of November as operating theatre capacity at the Churchill Hospital will be needed before then to bring down waiting times.

Board papers for May recommended the board agree a “phased approach” to the transfer of non-surgical activity, subject to consultation.

Proposals to create extra theatre and critical care capacity will be outlined in July.

The move was proposed last year but suspended as there was not enough theatre space at the Churchill, while “additional revenue consequences” were valued at £1.5m, which was not considered “sustainable in the current financial climate”.

The plans include the transfer of services from the Royal Berkshire Hospital Foundation Trust.

“Colleagues at RBHFT believe the transfer should take place two months following the move subject to clinical confirmation the service could cope with the additional activity,” the papers say.