On Friday 27 September 2002 our two organisations agreed that the best way to ensure quality breast care services for our patient population of 500,000 was to establish a new unit on the Rosaz House site at the Royal Sussex County Hospital (RSCH) in Brighton. This new unit will work alongside the existing breast care unit at the Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) in Haywards Heath.
Both organisations agreed that the current situation was not providing the best for patients. The Breast Assessment Centre and the Nigel Porter Unit at the RSCH are overcrowded and inadequate, while the workload of the Mid Sussex unit is lower than national guidelines and therefore the unit is at risk of losing official accreditation.
We are committed to the principle that our organisations must plan integrated services across two sites - the RSCH and the PRH. It is essential that the decision is seen in this wider context.
Both organisations came to this conclusion for a number of reasons, including:
There are no losers in this scenario. The PRH breast care service now has a secure future. The viability of the hospital is not affected by this decision.
On the contrary, we are very keen to pursue discussions about the potential for siting a new diagnostic and treatment centre at the PRH.
We all agree that the best way to save more lives is to raise the profile of breast screening and emphasise its importance in ensuring early detection of breast cancer.
Both organisations need to work closely to provide better services for the people in the area. It is no longer an option for either community to work in isolation.
We look forward to continuing to work together in the future.
© Brighton and Hove City Primary Care Trust