Mann of the People: Decision to close breastcare cancer services is ‘worst I’ve ever seen’

John Mann
John Mann

The decision to close down breastcare cancer services at Bassetlaw Hospital is one of the worst decisions I have ever seen.

On the face of it ,this is just a temporary cut.

I think we have heard that one before and the reality is totally different.

My investigations have found that the health organisation that funds the service has not been properly consulted and vital information about the options that are available has been kept secret.

Why was this?

It is frankly outrageous that all the options were not disclosed, including crucially the one that would have maintained the status quo which was running an excellent service based in Bassetlaw.

I am already hearing about how even in the first days of this shift to Doncaster that the service is worsening.

Throughout my time as MP any woman (or man for that matter) with a breast cancer diagnosis got to see a specialist consultant the next day.

Can the hospital now confirm that guarantee remains?

Can they confirm that every new case is being seen within 24 hours, as before?

When the Clinical Consulting Group (CCG) made the decision, what information did they have?

Indeed did the CCG make the decision at all or were they simply told of a change?

It would be extremely explosive if, as I believe, they were not given an option that would have allowed the service to remain in Bassetlaw.

Mark my words, the service is determined to remain in Doncaster, in total contradiction of best practice.

We have had a first class, high quality service, one as good as anywhere in the country.

Overnight it has been cut back and the first step in dismantling it has commenced.

I was informed of the change by email when the chief executive was already on holiday.

This is a nasty little cut and we will not accept it.

Out there are many hundreds of women who have benefitted from this brilliant service and there are many more using it today.

It is time for their voices to be heard and hear their stories and testaments about the service.

I have heard of how Doncaster’s clever governors are describing opposition to their changes as ‘crying wolf’, which is what they said when they tried to close A&E.

Well, the people of Bassetlaw don’t need to cry wolf – we can see what is going on here.

And while breast cancer hits men as well as women, it is women who are by far the most outspoken on the issue and supportive of the service.

The silly men who have made this decision will come to regret picking a fight with the women of Bassetlaw and I appeal for the maximum support to our campaign, starting with everyone signing and circulating the petition which is on my Facebook page or my website at www.johnmannmp.com