Specialist cancer care services for children should be kept at St George’s rather than move to St Thomas's

20 Dec 2023
Paul Kohler outside St Georges Hospital

A recent NHS report found that specialist children cancer services should only be offered on sites which also have a paediatric intensive care unit. This means that services have to move away from the Royal Marsden in Sutton, and the two hospital Trusts have proposed to take over the services.

A 12-week consultation was recently carried out on the proposed location of ‘very specialist cancer services’ for children living in south London and much of the south east. The decision being made is whether to develop existing services at St George’s in Tooting, or instead to establish new services at the Evelina in Lambeth.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate for Wimbledon, Cllr Paul Kohler said:

“We believe that the case for keeping and developing these services at St George’s is stronger.

“Both hospitals have put forward excellent and persuasive cases - but the assessment by NHS England does not give enough weight to the ‘challenges of change’. The comparison is between what might happen at the Evelina, with what does to some extent already happen at St George’s.  

“Local Lib Dem councillors visited both hospitals and we are grateful to their staff and those of NHS England who gave up their time to discuss the proposals. 

“We were very struck when we visited St George’s by the strength of their partnership with the Royal Marsden and  their work with children with cancer. For example, the paediatric ICU at St George’s has more cancer cases than any other hospital in England apart from Cambridge: we cannot see that the case for the Evelina is strong enough to overrule factors like this."