A London hospital has been accused of hiding a report that criticizes children's cancer services.
The hospital of the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust in Sutton was told in 2015 that dealing with children with cancer causes unnecessary stress and danger.
Transferring young patients between hospitals for different types of care endangers their health, experts said, and was even thought to have led to at least one child dying in terrible pain.
But hospital bosses don't rely on the report, according to a survey of the Health Service Journal.
And NHS England is even accused of hiding it because the Marsden Trust CEO, Cally Palmer, has also been the national cancer director since 2015.
The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust hospital in Sutton has been accused of refusing to change its children's cancer services, which regularly leads to young patients being transferred between hospitals in the region.
The care model of the Royal Marsden means that children with cancer – the trust is specialized in the treatment of cancer – roam around in hospitals in the area.
It directs patients to Tooting of King & # 39; s College in the city for neurosurgery and to one of the 16 district hospitals for less intensive care.
This fragmented model is different from & # 39; slightly different in the UK & # 39; and & # 39; thoroughly unsatisfactory & # 39 ;, experts say.
A report published in 2015 by Mike Stevens, an honorary professor of oncology at the University of Bristol, said that the cancer service in Sutton should be addressed.
But the HSJ says that hospital confidence has not included advice in Professor Stevens' report and has failed to conduct other critical investigations over the years.
Professor Stevens recommended setting up one treatment center for London to include intensive care at the same location, reducing dependence on other, smaller hospitals.
One of the doctors who worked at the trust said that HSJ children were sometimes transferred just to place central lines or IV lines.
An inspection of the Marsden by the Healthcare Quality Commission in 2016 found that 330 children had been transferred by the trust between 2000 and 2015.
These transfers were made to different hospitals and in 2015, six children were transferred at least twice and three of them were transferred three times.
One source told the HSJ: & # 39; After much thought, it was decided that it was safe because they mainly export the risk, their patients, to St George & # 39; s [hospital in Tooting].
& # 39; They have a very low threshold for transferring children.
& # 39; It's a much larger part than you would expect in other children's units and that made it safe.
& # 39; But it wasn't the best experience for the child or parent. It is thoroughly unsatisfactory. & # 39;
TWO YEARS END AFTER THE DOCTOR THE BRAIN SCAN DID NOT RESULT
Alice Mason died in 2011 at the age of two in the care of the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust.
Mistakes made by doctors from the Marsden Trust and Kingston Hospital caused the death of Alice, a coroner ruled, by delaying her treatment so that she suffered irreparable brain damage.
Alice had been treated by the Marsden for a brain tumor, but although she recovered well, she became dizzy and couldn't walk or sit without help.
Alice Mason, two, died after doctors had repeatedly failed to discuss the findings of an MRI scan. She had suffered irreversible brain damage after treatment for a brain tumor
Her parents, Rosalind and Gareth, pleaded for eight days for help from doctors in Kingston, but were told she probably had chemotherapy side effects.
A routine scan for Marsden confidence a few days later showed signs of fluid retention in the brain – called hydrocephalus – but the test results were not sent to Kingston doctors.
Although Kingston employees were instructed to order a CT scan if their condition deteriorated, they did not.
By the time Kingston realized what was going on, Alice's condition was considerably worse and she vomited repeatedly.
She got brain damage from the swelling and had an operation to drain the fluid from her skull, but never regained consciousness after the operation.
Mr. Mason said that the staff at Kingston & # 39; just didn't know what to do & # 39 ;.
& # 39; Because we were in the shared care system, we were treated by people who did not have the specialist knowledge, & # 39; he said.
He told the Health Service Journal that his daughter had died in & # 39; terrible pain & # 39 ;.
Critics have said that Professor Stevens' report – and others published later – may not have been implemented because the CEO of trust had a potential conflict of interest.
Cally Palmer, CBE, has been director there since 1998 and in 2015 became the national cancer director of the NHS for England.
NHS England, her second employer, did not publish Professor Stevens' report and was first published today by the HSJ.
The Bristol academician had written to the NHS in 2016, 15 months after he drafted his report, asking why it had not been published and saying that he & # 39; no justification & # 39; had received the decision not to publish it.
Professor Stevens, who had written the report along with nine other child cancer experts, said it should have been shared openly & # 39 ;.
He added: "It was, and remains, a concern for me that Cally Palmer, as the national cancer driver, is also the chief executive of the Royal Marsden.
& # 39; This creates a clear conflict of interest. & # 39;
Another anonymous source with detailed knowledge of the CQC inspection added: & # 39; Cally is highly protective of the Marsden and highly protected by the higher regions in NHS England. It is the only logical explanation. & # 39;
And a former NHS England director told the HSJ: “People didn't want to control the political implications of a fight with the Marsden, and when your national cancer driver is the CEO of the Marsden, it's very difficult.
& # 39; NHS England fully covered [the Stevens report] – that would be my personal opinion. & # 39;
NHS England said the recommendations currently being made to improve cancer services include that trust services should focus on a single site.
And it denied that Miss Palmer was involved in the recommendations.
An NHS spokesperson said: & # 39; The Independent Cancer Task Force recommended the NHS to & # 39; improve paths between specialized centers and shared care units for children with cancer.
& # 39; The draft service specifications have been developed with expert clinical input and have been signed by the clinical reference group for children and young adult cancer care providers. We are now discussing the proposals to build on the progress that the NHS services in recent years have contributed to a record high survival rate for cancer. & # 39;
MailOnline has contacted the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and, through her, Cally Palmer, for comments.
The Trust pointed out to the HSJ that they have high & # 39; excellent & # 39; and & # 39; good & # 39; received assessments from the 2016 Quality of Care Commission.
A spokeswoman told the health news website: & # 39; The CQC noted that there was an open and transparent approach to reporting incidents.
& # 39; Patient safety incidents are among the lowest in the country … and the center has solid data to demonstrate that clinical outcomes are equal to or better than the national average.
& # 39; All child cancer centers in the country work together with a number of shared care units to manage patient care.
& # 39; Unfortunately, two serious incidents occurred in 2009 and 2011 as a result of the management of shared care pathways between units and the center.
& # 39; Both have been fully investigated at that time and action has been taken to learn and improve the management of these pathways. & # 39;
. [TagsToTranslate] Dailymail