The Royal Marsden, as well as its local cancer alliance RM Partners and University College London Hospitals, are now leading a specialist Cancer Hub which in turn is coordinating cancer services across London.
As well as working with local hospital partners, they are also working with major teaching hospitals including Barts Health and Imperial, The Royal Free and Guys and St Thomas.
The Cancer Hub will ensure cancer treatment is delivered to the fullest extent possible in NHS hospitals across London.
The initial focus will be on surgery – surgery requiring critical care beds.
The Cancer Hub will also support hospitals across the NHS and independent sector to work together.
This is to maximise capacity and ensure those that need treatment, receive it.
Patients may be moved to another site for surgery but will remain under the care of their doctor or nurse specialist at the trust they are currently being cared for at.
The aim is to match patients who require cancer surgery with available capacity and the right expert clinical team, coordinating the specialist cancer workforce across the capital.
Dr Vin Diwakar, medical director for the NHS in London, said:
“Every NHS hospital is rightly carrying out as much cancer treatment as possible, while clearly needing to balance this against the risk to individuals posed by coronavirus.”
“The coronavirus pandemic is the biggest health threat this country has faced in a century and the biggest challenge our health service has ever faced, which is exactly why the NHS is already increasing treatment capacity across all hospitals, while getting on with other options too, including new facilities and a landmark deal with private hospitals.”