• Commissioners favour Salford Royal as single site for upper gastrointestinal surgery
  • Discussions continue over urology surgery
  • Previous efforts to reconfigure both services have been highly contentious

STRUCTURE: Commissioners in Greater Manchester are likely to choose Salford Royal Foundation Trust as the single site for some specialised cancer services, according to local leaders.

Salford Royal Foundation Trust

Salford Royal

The region’s transformation unit is drawing up plans to reduce the number of surgical centres for upper gastrointestinal and urological cancers. Previous efforts at reconfiguration of these services has been highly contentious.

Minutes of a Salford Royal board meeting last month suggested that commissioners favour the FT as the single site for upper GI surgery, but that discussions are continuing over urology surgery.

The minutes said: “The chief executive confirmed the commissioner review of upper GI and urology cancer surgery was still underway, with commissioners appearing to favour a single site (Salford Royal) model for upper GI surgery.

“The chief executive commented that it remained unclear regarding the clinical model or site options for urology cancer surgery. The executive director of service strategy and development confirmed commissioners had convened a meeting in May 2016 to discuss urological services.”

The other two trusts in Greater Manchester providing upper GI surgery are Central Manchester University Hospitals FT and University Hospital of South Manchester FT.

If Salford is confirmed as the single surgical site, it means more specialised services would be withdrawn from Wythenshawe Hospital, run by UHSM, which is already set to lose emergency and high risk surgery under the Healthier Together programme.

UHSM and CMFT did not respond when contacted by HSJ.

Five sites currently provide urology cancer surgery.

A previous attempt at reconfiguration of both services was halted after a Monitor investigation into the process and complaints from UHSM and Stockport FT.