One Month on from Cop 26
Co-Locate is not an environmentalist activist group and it is not in our remit to propose the co-location of the ‘New Velindre’ on environmental grounds; all readers of our work should be fully aware of our central and over-arching premise that co-location is the only safe future provision for cancer services. However, this blog adds to the many reasons why the building of a new cancer centre on the Northern Meadows site is wrong by considering the green issues arising in the run up to, and since the COP 26 climate crisis talks in Glasgow last month.
The British Medical Journal has devoted a whole issue to the issues of climate, environment and health1. The NHS in Wales has issued a document published on 22/11/2021 entitled ‘How NHS Wales is responding to the climate emergency’2. Velindre University Trust has contributed to the latter, and we select the following excerpts from Velindre’s series of ‘ambitions for the greenest hospital (sic) in Britain’ to discuss further below.
We contacted all Welsh Government Assembly Members earlier this year. We summarised our concerns about the plans for the new cancer centre, and the process being used. We’re posting information from the letter on this site.
Misrepresentation of Patient numbers transferred for urgent escalation of care unavailable at the current Velindre site:
The concern here is that the figures quoted by the Velindre NHS Trust are incorrect, misleading and falsely reassuring to the general public. More worrying is the intention to replicate this current model of care at the proposed New Velindre Cancer Centre on the Northern Meadows.
What do Velindre say?
In the document “Why not build a new Velindre Cancer Centre on another hospital site?” Velindre say:
“fewer than thirty patients a year on average need an unplanned emergency transfer.”
What are the actual numbers of transfers?
We submitted a Freedom of Information enquiry to WAST (Welsh Ambulance Service Trust) and they provided us with the raw data on ambulance transfers.
On average around 100 patients are transferred each year using the 999 Ambulance system. These are urgent transfers for escalation of care that is not available at Velindre Hospital.
The Barrett report:
In the document produced by the Velindre NHS Trust “Why not build a new Velindre Cancer Centre on another hospital site?” the following statement is made:
“The clinical lead in an external review of the project, carried out in 2017, was Dr Jane Barrett OBE, an eminent UK clinical oncologist and past President of the Royal College of Radiologists.”
This statement is clearly refuted in an email from Dr Barrett herself, wherein it is stated:
“You are correct that I was involved in the review into the siting of satellite centres in South Wales. However it was not a review into the redevelopment of Velindre.”Dr Jane Barrett obe