People have three weeks to have their say on plans to standardize Urology cancer services across the Black Country and improve patients’ experience.

Under proposals from the Black Country Provider Collaborative (BCPC) – made up of The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust and The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust – Urology cancer patients will have their surgery at one designated center, depending on their illness.

Surgery for renal/kidney cancer patients would take place at Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley, which would become a specialized renal/kidney surgical centre, including robotic surgery.

This will create the capacity for an additional approximately 170 robotic surgical procedures per year, taking the total to up to 300 annually.

Prostate and/or bladder cancer patients’ surgery will continue to be at New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton, where it is currently undertaken. New Cross would become the urological pelvic surgical centre.

With the proposed renal/kidney surgical center at Russells Hall, additional capacity would be created at New Cross to carry out between 280-421 urological procedures – cystectomies (removal of the bladder) and prostatectomies (partial or complete removal of the prostate) per year .

Patients requiring complex kidney stone surgery would have been undertaken at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, which would become the complex kidney stone surgical centre. It is anticipated that based on available capacity this will impact 85-132 patients annually.

Patients’ pre and post operative care appointments would still take place at their local hospital.

Dr Jonathan Odum, Chief Medical Officer for the BCPC, said: “We want to ensure all patients across the Black Country are able to receive high quality care in the area.

“The aim is to improve urological surgical cancer and renal stone service provision, with many positive benefits.”

The benefits include:

  • Improved outcomes for patients
  • Improved quality of life through faster access to cancer surgery
  • Improved satisfaction with level of care and the positive patient experience
  • Reduction in waiting times, to meet the national cancer targets
  • Better use of theater capacity across all four Trusts
  • Creating more opportunities for patients to access care from Black County Providers, rather than traveling to other areas
  • Developing a more skilled and experienced workforce, with greater staff retention and recruitment

Insight from more than 1,000 local people who completed a survey informed the priorities and delivery plans in the Black Country NHS Joint Forward Plan.

Feedback stated:

  • 81 per cent were willing to travel outside of the place they live to receive treatment from a team specializing in that type of surgery, and 72.32 per cent would be willing to travel to receive that care more quickly
  • 80 per cent wanted to receive aftercare in the community or their local hospital (68.76 per cent)
  • 60 per cent were willing to return to the healthcare setting where they had the surgery

People have until 31 May 2024 to respond, either by completing this short online survey or emailing rwh-tr.CommunicationsDept@nhs.net

Letters have been sent to patients on the waiting list for these procedures.

Views requested on Urology services provision

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