Approval for Stanmore’s new building

The NHS has finally granted approval for Stanmore hospital redevelopment. Let’s hope it goes ahead without a hitch.

The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH) and the NHS Trust Development Authority (TDA) are delighted to confirm that the outline business case for the next major phase of the rebuild of the hospital at Stanmore, Middlesex, has been unconditionally approved.

The TDA’s Board approved the business case on 19 March 2015, giving the RNOH the go-ahead to select a final bidder for the rebuild

More at RNOH’s website

Petition to help save sarcoma drug

Please sign this petition to HM Government to reinstate Regorafenib on the Cancer Drugs Fund list.

The drug regorafenib (Stivarga®) was approved last year as 3rd line treatment for patients with advanced Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumour (a rare type of cancer found in the digestive system). Regorafenib is used to treat GIST cancer that is unresponsive to existing drugs imatinib and sunitinib. It has proved very successful, stopping disease growth or causing significant shrinkage, and is better tolerated by patients. Younger patients with a rare form of “Wildtype” GIST respond very well to regorafenib.

The withdrawal of this drug from the Fund means patients whose GIST cancer is inoperable or has spread widely and is not contained by alternatives have no other treatment options available and will die sooner than might have been the case with this drug.

We are calling on the decision to be reconsidered and regorafenib to be reinstated on the CDF list. There is currently no cure for inoperable GIST but targeted drugs like regorafenib enable a patient to live for considerably longer.

The Royal Marsden Cancer Cookbook

Subtitled Nutritious recipes for during and after cancer treatment, to share with friends and family this is a new book published last month. The author is Clare Shaw who is a consultant dietician in oncology at The Royal Marsden.

It costs £13.59 from Amazon or Book Depository.

Here’s a sample recipe from the Cookbook: Homemade Pot Noodles.

You may also be interested in this free download Eating well when you have cancer – Royal Marsden Hospital

Cancer made me want mashed potato is a news item on the BBC Health News site. It looks at nutrition whilst undergoing treatment and references Royal Marsden’s Cookbook.

Email to my MP

Funding for a top hospital

Dear Annette Brooke

I am writing to you about the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore, Middlesex (RNOH). Clearly this hospital is not in your constituency but, as a specialist hospital, it serves the whole of the South of England and hence your constituents like me.

A couple of years ago I was diagnosed with bone sarcoma which is a very rare form of cancer, less than 0.2% of all cancers. Poole hospital, following NHS guidelines, referred me to RNOH.

Like everyone who first travels to RNOH, I was shocked at the state of the buildings. Well, they aren’t really buildings at all, they are Nissen huts. Yet, as I was to discover, this is one of the best hospitals in the country. Even the taxi drivers say it is outstanding, with stories of visiting consultants from all over the world to learn from RNOH! Every patient that I have met have told me how wonderful the hospital is and, on a feedback form, I crossed out the options of “Poor, Good, Excellent” and substituted “Fantastic”.

The care and the service is out of this world, but it is all delivered in ancient buildings which urgently need replacing.

You may have come across publicity such as a recent headline in The Times,
Top hospital facing closure over its ‘third world’ wards. Some funding was approved for new buildings but is now no longer there and the hospital urgently needs the NHS and Department of Health to stop dithering and sort out the necessary funding.

Could I ask you as an MP to push for decisions to be made as soon as possible so that RNOH can carry on giving the superb service that I have received?

Hellomynameis Campaign

Dr Kate Granger, terminally ill with Sarcoma, has given some interviews to the BBC to publicise her #hellomynameis campaign. We have all seen the insides of too many hospitals so know how important a friendly face is.

RNOH Stanmore, where I go, started #hellomynameis in December, and today has spread to Outpatients. They tweeted:

Everybody’s on board with #hellomynameis in our Stanmore outpatients department @RNOHnhs @GrangerKate

NICE Sarcoma Quality Standard

NICE has just published its quality standards and guidance for Sarcoma at

There’s a list of 6 quality statements on the website at

Statement 1.  Sarcoma advisory groups and sarcoma multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) have
pathways for referral and diagnosis in place for people with suspected sarcoma.

Statement 2. Adults, children and young people with bone sarcoma and adults with soft tissue  sarcoma have their care plan confirmed by a sarcoma MDT and treatment delivered by services  designated by the sarcoma advisory group.

Statement 3. Sarcoma MDTs publish information about their shared pathways, activity and  patient outcomes, including information on site-specific sarcomas.

Statement 4. People with a retroperitoneal sarcoma are referred before having any treatment to  a sarcoma treatment centre with special expertise in managing this type of tumour.

Statement 5. Surgeons performing planned resections of sarcomas are core or extended
members of a sarcoma MDT.

Statement 6. People with sarcoma are supported by an allocated key worker with specialist  knowledge of sarcomas and their treatment.

© NICE 2015. All rights reserved. Last modified January 2015

Local Charity Event

Come in pink posterThere’s a Charity Event on 7th February 2015 in the Allendale Centre in Wimborne to raise funds for Cancer Research UK and Poole Hospital Ladybird (Breast Care) Unit.

It features a local band ‘The Alibi’ and a Representative coming from Cancer Research UK to give a short talk during the Band’s break on the importance of self examination and early detection.

For details see Steve Cassidy’s comment on our blog
here and his website Come In Pink

Local Community Magazine draft editorial

The challenge of being a GP

David Haslam, Chair of NICE in his post Risky business: the challenge of being a GP says

Signs of cancer may also not be clear or obvious and GPs see, on average, only around eight new cases a year. A full time GP will have between 6,000-8,000 appointments every year. And they will only have around 10 minutes per appointment to pick out warning signs that could be cancer, but equally may be a symptom of a less serious condition.

Sarcoma UK’s On The Ball campaign is still going to help with diagnosis.