The NCCP is responsible for all the components of Cancer Control with the
exception of palliative care. The majority of the Programme will be
delivered through 8 regional cancer centres and 4 cancer control networks.
In the North East, Beaumont Hospital and the Mater Hospital are the
designated cancer surgical centres. Medical oncology is delivered in
Beaumont Hospital, Mater Hospital and is also delivered as an outreach
service, in Cavan Hospital, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Drogheda and in
Connolly Hospital Blanchardstown. Radiotherapy is currently delivered in
St. Luke’s Hospital, Rathgar; it is planned that radiotherapy services will
be delivered to patients form the North East in Beaumont Hospital.
Progress to date in concentrating Cancer Surgery in designated cancer centres
Nationally breast cancer diagnosis and surgery has now been centralized
into the 8 cancer centres. In Dublin North East, breast cancer diagnosis
and surgery has been centralized into Beaumont Hospital and The Mater
Hospital. Both of these hospitals received additional revenue resources to
deliver the service. Additional staff are in place and the service is working well. Capital funding was made available to refurbish new symptomatic breast units in Beaumont and the Mater; these units were opened in 2009.
The HIQA report based on an audit of compliance with the National Standards concluded that the service provided in the North East was very favourable
Additional resources have been allocated to Beaumont and Cork University
Hospital to create a single National Programme for the management of brain
tumours and other central nervous system tumours across two sites. A
Neuro-oncology trained Neurosurgeon is being recruited and a CNM 3 nurse to lead this programme across both sites has taken up duty in Beaumont.
Rapid Access Cancer Diagnostic Lung and Prostate Clinics
Rapid access clinics specifically to fast track lung cancer patients have
opened in Beaumont and in the Mater. Rapid access clinics to fast track
prostate cancer patients have opened in both hospitals. Prostate surgery is
carried out in both cancer centres. New development funding for lead
clinical and nursing posts to drive implementation of early diagnosis and
multi-disciplinary decision making for both cancers has been allocated.
Capital funding has been made available for new equipment to assist in
early diagnosis of these cancers.
Lung cancer surgery will be limited to 4 specialist cancer centres
nationally. Mater Hospital is the centre for lung surgery in the Dublin
North East Region.
Concentration of rectal cancer surgery in Dublin North East into the
designated cancer centres in Beaumont and the Mater Hospitals is ongoing.
St. Vincent’s Hospital has been identified as the only designated, national
centre for pancreatic cancer surgery. Pancreatic surgery has been
transferred from North East Hospitals to the National Centre. Based on the
number of pancreatic surgeries in Ireland, international evidence suggests
that optimal outcomes can be achieved by concentrating all surgery in a
single designated cancer centre.
A fifth consultant medical oncologist was added to the Dublin North East
team in 2009. The latest Consultant has sessional commitments in Beaumont Hospital and in OLOL Drogheda.
Community Oncology Programme
NCCP has established a separate Community Oncology office to work with GPs in oncology and also to enhance nursing capability in oncology care within communities and primary care teams. GP referral guidelines for breast, lung and prostate cancers have been developed. Electronic referral on specific breast referral forms is fully operational in the North East to
all GPs. GPs can refer electronically from the GP surgery via Healthlink
directly into the cancer office in Beaumont and the Mater. NCCP held a
meeting with GPs in Beaumont in April on prostate cancer and a further GP
meeting is planned for June 2010 in The Mater. GP meetings on breast
cancer have already taken place.
National Plan for Radiation Oncology
Radiotherapy is currently delivered in St. Luke’s Hospital, Rathgar; it is
planned that radiotherapy services will also be delivered to patients from
Dublin North East in Beaumont Hospital. New Radiation facilities, consisting of a four linear accelerator operation, are currently under construction on the Beaumont site. Construction will be complete by the end of 2010.