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Cancer patients on Arran may in future have to travel further for treatment after heath bosses at NHS Ayrshire & Arran admitted they are considering a huge shake-up of cancer services.
The health board has decided that there will only be one main cancer unit in Ayrshire, although there are no immediate plans for any changes in the next 12 to 18 months.
Previously it was proposed Crosshouse Hospital, near Kilmarnock, would be home to the cancer unit, used most by Arran patients, but bosses have confirmed they are now considering Ayr as well, which means that chemotherapy treatment will be axed at one of the hospitals.
At a recent health board meeting heard a new model for cancer treatment was being proposed across the whole of the west of Scotland and, that as well as the main cancer service being located at one hospital, other new outreach treatment hubs could be available elsewhere but those outreach services would only cater for low risk cancer cases.
Professor Hazel Borland, NHS Ayrshire and Arran’s nurse director said the outreach service could be located at Ayrshire Central Hospital in Irvine.
Chief executive John Burns said the ambition was to deliver the ‘best care we can to our population’. He added: ‘We need to think of it as a pathway – not just a building.’
The proposed west of Scotland service model was endorsed by the board and it is understood that the chosen hospital will undergo an upgrade to host the cancer unit.
A decision on where the main cancer unit will be located is to come before the board again at a later date.
The entrance to Crosshouse Hospital. NO_B20crosshouse01