Diary of a Sutton Councillor

Monday 9th March 7.30pm

Royal Marsden, Sutton


Royal Marsden Joint Scrutiny Committee

The Royal Marsden is based over two sites; one in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea and the other in the London Borough of Sutton. Because of this a joint committee is formed with representatives from both boroughs to scrutinise the Annual Review of this NHS Foundation Trust Hospital dedicated to cancer care.


The committee had been provided with copies of the Annual Review and Integrated Governance Monitoring Report prior to the meeting.


Cllr. Christopher Buckmaster from Kensington & Chelsea chaired the meeting whilst I assumed the role of vice chair.


As this meeting was being held in Sutton it fell to me to welcome everyone to the borough before handing over to Cllr. Buckmaster.


Representatives from the NHS Trust, including Cally Palmer the Chief Executive and Shelley Dolan Chief Nurse, gave a short presentation highlighting the work of the trust and its achievement for a second year of a ‘double excellent’ rating from the Healthcare Commission. We were also advised of the investment & improvements being made to the Chelsea building following the fire and plans in place for the expansion and development of the Sutton site.


There was much congratulation of the trust by members from Kensington & Chelsea on its achievement of a second excellent rating along with questions around how the trust worked with and involved its local communities.


Cllr. Carter from Sutton made enquiries about their rates of hospital acquired infections (HAI) which were apparently quite low, although not entirely eradicated. Considering the high prevalence of intravenous tubes and invasive procedures at the Royal Marsden it was an achievement that the Trust had managed to keep levels of HAI low.


Ms Dolan spoke about the Trust’s consideration of ‘survivorship’ and the implications of managing a potentially long term condition. I therefore asked about the Trust’s awareness of carers and the burden that this situation can place on family and friends. I wondered if they had a specific policy in relation to carers. I was told that they did have some awareness and had been looking at information from the University of Nebraska about training for carers. It sounded similar to the expert carers initiative being considered in the UK.


The committee was advised that the Trust was considering using additional land on the Sutton site for a diagnostic clinic also incorporating GP services. They also said that they were considering improvements to the car park area and I requested that they speak with Sutton Council to ensure local resident involvement in these plans as it is such a residential area.


I had a query on an item in the financial statements which showed the realisation of the accounting gain arising from the fire before full receipt of the insurance proceeds.


I also probed the ‘industry funding’ of the Marsden’s research activities and received assurance  that there was no dominance by any particular pharmaceutical company, indeed the Trust had refused to participate in a proposal to link with ‘preferred’ drug companies in order to maintain its independence. I was also interested to hear that the Trust had a good output of published peer –reviewed trials but was aware of the propensity for the editors of medical journals to only publish positive reports and were looking into ways to balance this effect perhaps by use of the internet.


New radiotherapy unit at Sutton


April 26, 2009 - Posted by | Committee Meeting

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