David Ashford, MHKA new cancer strategy will be finalised in early 2021 which will introduce a more integrated pathway for cancer patients and survivors.

Health and Social Care Minister David Ashford was asked to provide an update on Oncology services at Noble’s Hospital by Julie Edge (Onchan).

Mr Ashford said oncology, like many other areas in the DHSC, was going through changes as the island ’transitions’ towards Manx Care.

He added: ’This new cancer strategy presents an integrated model for cancer services for the future, aiming to provide a supportive pathway for those with a suspected cancer through diagnostics, treatment, to living with and beyond cancer.

’The strategy will also take into account the outputs from the transformation path finder team who have also started their process of reviewing cancer services.

’Workshops, stakeholder interviews and service user involvement surveys are currently being undertaken to develop a better understanding of patient pathways and areas of the service development.’

Mr Ashford said that Covid-19 has created challenges for oncology staff at Noble’s combined with an increasing number of referrals but cancer patients have been treated both on and off island.

He added that an oncologist is available for in person appointments and said that if a patient is receiving a terminal diagnosis, these appointments should always be done face to face.

Ms Edge’s constituency colleague Rob Callister also asked Mr Ashford to provide an update for negotiations with Clatterbridge Hospital in Merseyside. The DHSC has been negotiating with the hospital over modernising the system in place for island cancer patients.

Mr Ashford said that Covid-19 had led to a delay in negotiations but that ’from our side we have everything pretty much ready to go’.

He added: ’As you can expect Clatterbridge itself has been rather busy over recent months so it has been delayed but we wish to get that back up and running as quickly as possible and get a signed contract in place in the new year.’

Asked by Mr Callister if he would be able to give a start date for the new contract, Mr Ashford said he would ideally like the agreement in place ahead of the next financial year but that he had to be realistic over the situation at Clatterbridge.

Manx Care, the new arms length health service, is due to launch on April 1.

Source: IoMToday