Can it really be that New Velindre devalues stakeholders and fellow professionals in cancer? We ask the question since a Velindre spokesperson has apparently devalued the following:
1: The 7 members of the External Advisory Board (EAB)
This body monitors the Wales Cancer Research Centre (WCRC). All its panel members are NHS professors with international reputations in cancer. It is the eminent panel of doctors that assures standards for cancer research in the whole of Wales.
See the Board’s letter at:
The letter warns that the New Velindre ‘stand-alone’ cancer centre is against patients’ interests. The current plan will damage Velindre’s recruitment, research, brand and reputation.
2: The 163 senior clinicians specialising in all aspects of cancer throughout S E Wales, their names known to successive Health Ministers.
See their letter at:
3: An award-winning NHS cancer centre critical for north Wales patients.
The New Velindre attitude on all three surfaced in October with a video clip showing its spokesperson publicly replying to questions.
See this and other brief clips at:
Some answers revealed that New Velindre now recognises no particular weight or merit in the External Advisory Board:
Velindre ‘listened to’ the EAB but only as ‘an opinion’ among many. For New Velindre the EAB’s contribution merely illustrates the fact that ‘always people disagree’.
The spokesperson also passed up on the opportunity to recognise ‘best experience and knowledge’ in the EAB. What’s more he stressed that Velindre could decide best opinion for itself. The claim seems to allow Velindre to put itself above any external clinical authority that calls for its compliance.
In December the spokesperson went further, again while being openly filmed.
Now he questioned the very ethics and genuineness of the EAB letter, but in dark hints with no evidence offered. He did not address the possible impact of his words on Wales’s successful Welsh cancer research reputation. Yet Velindre’s voice had just put the trustworthiness of the EAB’s eminent monitoring body in doubt.
But only two months earlier, Velindre had posted a comment implying the EAB’s integrity and worth (Velindre Matters 10 September). What could the motive be for such a sudden, negative turnaround?
Could it be that New Velindre has now realised that it is pitted against overwhelming clinical consensus?
Would this also explain the thinly veiled attack on 163 senior clinicians working in cancer throughout the South East Region? New Velindre didn’t shrink from undermining these skilled professionals whom we need to stay in Wales. And we detect smoke and mirrors once more. Innuendo, nods and winks but no evidence offered. In all the clips we hear disparagement of local stakeholders, fellow professionals and partners to Velindre.
Finally, a comment on the October clip. There the spokesperson dismissed the renowned, award-winning Clatterbridge Cancer Centre in Merseyside. He calls it a ‘disaster… a car crash’.
No awareness here of the impact of such speech on cancer patients in North Wales who depend on Clatterbridge for treatment. However, Co-locate Velindre moves to reassure patients . It wasn’t the cancer centre that hit problems, but the new general hospital under construction. This crisis was in great part due to the collapse of the company Carillion. Happily that build too is now making progress.
So it’s with dismay that many clinicians detect the undermining of NHS partners in cancer. It really does give the impression that New Velindre devalues stakeholders. For this reason, it would be helpful if the Clinical Lead and Medical Director at Velindre publicly quickly disassociated themselves from these statements.
Also, are government, health boards, cancer networks and the Chief Medical Officer really okay with all this?
Feel free to email us with your response.