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Plan for more radiotherapy in Jersey rather than in UK

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ISLANDERS diagnosed with cancer who have to travel to the UK for radiotherapy could soon be able to have their treatment in Jersey, under plans proposed by the government.

More Islanders may soon be able to have radiotherapy in Jersey instead of travelling to Southampton

The new Jersey Care Model, which was announced earlier this week, aims to move to a health care system where more people are treated in the community rather than in hospital, and it also aims to boost better use of third-sector organisations to take the strain off primary-care services at the Hospital.

As part of the plan, the government has said changes will lead to more radiotherapy treatments being administered in Jersey, rather than patients having to travel to Southampton or hospitals in the UK.

The government said the numbers of patients it would affect were unknown.

However, it is due to produce a cancer strategy over the next five months.

Rob Sainsbury, group managing director for the Health Department, said: ‘Specifically regarding cancer, we’re exploring the opportunity to provide radiotherapy treatment on-Island.

‘More broadly, we’re currently developing our cancer strategy for the Island, which will be reviewing the volumes of patients for radiotherapy as well as future overall cancer projections and treatment options as part of the Future Hospital and Jersey Care Model development. Our cancer strategy will be developed over the next four to five months.’

Emelita Robbins, chief executive of Jersey Hospice Care, said: ‘It is very pleasing that more cancer treatments for people will be brought into the Island. We’re supportive of that.

‘When the individual receives treatment they sometimes have to go to the UK on their own, and it will be a huge thing for people knowing they can be cared for in the Island.’

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Another change proposed in the model is the construction of an urgent-treatment centre, which would sit alongside a new Emergency Department, when Jersey’s new hospital is built. When people are admitted or attend hospital, if it is a serious matter such as a heart attack or a head trauma they would be treated within the Emergency Department.

However, less serious cases – a person with a sprained ankle, for example – would be dealt with in the urgent-treatment centre.

Mr Sainsbury added: ‘We don’t anticipate that the urgent-treatment centre will require an increase in the staffing numbers beyond current levels but it may require different roles, such as GPs and more emergency nurse practitioners.’

lIn an earlier article about the proposed new Jersey Care Model published this week, the JEP stated that no one was available for comment. The JEP would like to clarify that the minister and other spokespeople were available for comment and interview at a morning press briefing. However, no one was available for comment for follow-up questions in the afternoon.

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