Most cancer patients 'happy with Derriford Hospital'

Most cancer patients are happy with the service at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth after some operations were switched there, an NHS review suggests.

Operations for stomach and oesophagus cancers were moved from Cornwall and Exeter to a new specialist unit at Derriford in 2010.

The move was part of a national plan to improve cancer survival rates.

Eighty per cent of patients who had operations at Derriford said their treatment was "excellent".

'Very positive'

The Peninsula Cancer Network (PCN) surveyed 129 people at Derriford from January to December 2010.

The survey also showed "very positive results" in mortality rates, said the PCN.

There was a mortality rate of 1.1% among the 94 patients undergoing the removal of all or part of the oesophagus, compared with a rate of 4.5% across the NHS in the latest national audit.

A mortality rate of 5.7% among the 35 patients undergoing full or partial removal of the stomach compared with 6% in the national audit.

Leslie Keverne, 71, of Redruth, who was one of the first cancer patients to have an operation at Derriford, said: "My operation was moved from Treliske Hospital in Cornwall.

'Second to none'

"But the doctors and nurses at Derriford were 100% perfect in everything they did.

"They saved my life."

More than 30,000 people objected to the move, saying patients would have further to travel.

Mr Keverne said: "I can understand it could be a problem for some people.

"But the treatment I had at Derriford was second to none and you can't put a value on that."

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