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Outpatient breast cancer clinic review

Breast clinic review holds first meeting

The first meeting of a review of outpatient breast cancer clinics has been held at Darlington Memorial Hospital.

The meeting was chaired by Sue Jacques, chief executive of County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust.

Present were representatives of local clinical commissioning groups, NHS England, Healthwatch Darlington and members of the Trust's clinical teams.

The Trust made changes to breast clinics as a temporary measure to maintain a clinically safe and sustainable breast surgery out-patient service. This has arisen because of a shortage of key staff which has been making it difficult for the service to see all of our urgent GP referrals within 2 weeks, and to begin treatment within 62 days of GP referral with our service spread over several sites.

Sue Jacques said: "We had a useful first meeting of the breast review group. A group will be convening to look at options for the future, and we will be working with Healthwatch to make sure that the views of service users are taken into account. The review group will be meeting again in September."

Michelle Thompson, chair of Healthwatch Darlington said: "Healthwatch Darlington attended the first meeting of a review group hosted by the Trust, to ensure a strong patient and carer voice from the very beginning of discussions. We will continue to be fully involved with the review group and working groups to ensure patients, carers and the public of Darlington are represented.

"If you would like to have your say, to tell us about your experiences of the service or express your feelings about the move and how you would like to see the service in the future, please contact Healthwatch Darlington on 01325 380145, email info@healthwatchdarlington.co.uk, write to us at Healthwatch Darlington, eVOLution Building, Church Row, Darlington, DL1 1QD. Alternatively we are gathering data via a survey, if you would like to complete the survey please do so at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BCServiceDton - paper copies of the survey can be obtained from the office on the contact details above."

'The treatment I have received from all the staff has been excellent and could you extend my thanks to them all. A very thankful and relieved patient'.

Patient, Dermatology Outpatients Department, University Hospital of North Durham