Ever since my move from London to Cardiff just over 2 years ago, we have been working with patient groups and Welsh Government, in particular Welsh Health Specialised Services Committee (WHSSC), to work towards a commissioned NET service for Wales. This is effectively South Wales, since patients from North Wales have access to the centre of excellence in Liverpool.
The structure of the NHS in Wales is different to that of England’s but some specialist and tertiary services are commissioned on a national basis. Gallium PET and PRRT are currently accessible through WHSSC at the centres at Royal Free and Liverpool, whilst Gallium PET is in development at the PETIC in Cardiff. After much work and deliberation from all parties over issues regarding the existing service, we can announce that phase one of the new service has been officially commissioned. This was announced at a public stakeholders meeting hosted by Cardiff and Vale University Health Board prior to Christmas where I described how this future service would potentially develop. Phase one includes training 2 CNSs for South Wales hosted through Cardiff and Vale University Health Board working with other health boards (equivalent of trusts in England), Velindre and South West Wales Cancer Centres as part of a wider team. It will also mean increased time and frequency of the South Wales NET MDT staffed by appropriate members, officially timetabled, in order to improve patient case discussion.
Phase one will also establish a specialised NET clinic with appropriate speciality Consultants. Since this will be a limited service initially, further phases will follow dependent on the needs of service monitored by WHSSC but may include further staffing, clinics, dieticians, etc. Thanks must go to the Health Minister in Wales, Carole Bell and colleagues at WHSSC, Graham Shortland medical director (Cardiff and Vale), Maria Battle (Chair, Cardiff and Vale), Dr Aled Rees, Jan Lewis, my endocrine, gastroenterology, surgical, pathology/radiology and oncology colleagues across South Wales, Liverpool and Royal Free centres of excellence, project manager Vicky Myson and importantly, South Wales NET Patient Strategic Support Group and NET Patient Foundation. Much work is still to be done with regards to implementation but things are moving in the right direction.
Dr Mohid S Khan
Clinical Lead, Neuroendocrine Tumour Service, Wales