Independent report summarising children’s specialist cancer consultation responses published

31 January 2024 – An independent report summarising responses to an NHS consultation into the future location of very specialist cancer treatment services for children living in south London and much of south-east England has been published by NHS England and is available to read at: 

NHS England (London and south-east regions) launched a twelve-week consultation on the future of very specialist cancer treatment services for children in September 2023, with the consultation closing in December 2023.  More than 1,650 individuals responded to the consultation survey. Alongside this, hundreds more contributions to the consultation came from interviews, focus groups, sessions with children, their families, NHS staff and public meetings. 

The consultation asked for people’s opinions on two possible future locations for the specialist service – Evelina London Children’s Hospital in Lambeth or St George’s Hospital, in Tooting. Under both options, it is proposed that all radiotherapy services (instead of some, as now) would be provided at University College Hospital.  Feedback from the consultation process has now been independently assessed, and a report produced, summarising the feedback received.  

All responses and contributions will now be considered by NHS England leaders, alongside all other evidence, to support making a final decision on the location of very specialist cancer treatment services for children, expected in spring 2024. There will be no immediate changes to the services until at least 2026. 

Dr Chris Streather, Medical Director, NHS England (London) said:  

“I want to thank every single person and organisation that gave their views and feedback as part of this extensive 12-week consultation.   

“We received responses from a wide range of respondents, including NHS staff, children and young people who have current or past experience of specialist cancer services, parents and carers and voluntary organisations. 

“There are a range of views in this independent feedback report reflecting differing opinions on our need to change the location of the service, as well as comments on the benefits and drawbacks of each of the proposed future locations. 

“This is a subject and service that we all care very deeply about, and we are grateful to everyone who engaged with the consultation to share their thoughts, personal experiences and feedback. 

“We will consider everything we have been told, as well as all other evidence, as we now work to make a final decision this spring.” 

The public consultation ran for 12 weeks between September 2023 and December 2023. There were: 

  • 2,669 formal responses to the consultation 
  • 1,736 responses to the consultation questionnaire, including 
  • 319 from NHS staff currently working within the PTC 
  • 233 from children, young people and their families/carers directed affected by cancer. 
  • 115 face-to-face and online engagement sessions, including with children and young people and equalities groups