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Centres of excellence created for urinary surgery

Date: 29/07/2008           Category: Medway PCT

Board members of the three Primary Care Trusts which cover Kent and Medway have endorsed plans for specialised urinary surgery including prostate and bladder diseases. Specialised surgery will be carried out by multi-disciplinary teams (MDTs) in two centres of excellence - one serving east Kent and the other serving the people who live in west Kent including Medway. Kent and Canterbury Hospital will continue to be the specialist centre in east Kent and a Medway Darent Unit (a combined submission from Medway and Dartford Trusts) will be established in west Kent by April 2009 or sooner. The venue has yet to be finalised. Patients will continue to have their outpatient and diagnostic appointments and treatments in their local acute hospital and only travel to the identified specialist site for the pre-operative assessment and surgery. When appropriate, after surgery they will go back to their local hospital for follow-up treatment. Routine treatments will continue to be carried out in local district hospitals The decision comes after a year-long review of Urology services which was lead by Medway PCT on behalf of the three PCTs. Together they detailed the specialised urology services they wished to commission and asked the hospital trusts to demonstrate how their teams would meet the requirements. To comply with national measures there is a requirement, which states that a MDT must support a population of one million. Kent and Medway’s population is approximately 1.6 million. The other key measure is that individual surgeons and teams must perform a minimum number of the highly specialised case mix of surgical procedures. Local urology surgeons should carry out enough operations to achieve clinical excellence and meet national standards. Nearly 900 men are treated for prostate problems and around 340 for bladder disease each year in Kent and Medway. Of these, specialist surgery is needed in nearly 200 prostate cases and around 50 bladder cases. Medway PCT, which led the review, agreed the process for carrying it out with representatives of all the area’s teams of urology surgeons and sought the views of the Overview and Scrutiny committees of Kent County Council and Medway Council. Technical experts, including patient representatives, awarded scores to each response to reflect how closely they met various aspects of the specification, including the quality of patient experience on offer, the clinical services proposed, the workforce plan and value for money, as well as delivery of national standards. A separate panel, involving independent clinical experts, considered the importance of each aspect of the service and applied weightings to each set of scores to work out which arrangements most closely meet the needs of local people. Medway PCT Chief Executive Marion Dinwoodie said: “We have worked hard to find a practical and workable arrangement so that patients can be confident they are getting the very best surgery, however routine or serious their disease may be.”