Update on Closure of Taunton cancer centre

On Monday Rutherford plc, the company that ran the Taunton Cancer Diagnostic centre was put into liquidation. The centre, which opened with a fanfare in September 2021, was run in partnership with Somerset NHS Trust. This is the body that runs Musgrove Hospital, mental health services and the community hospitals for Somerset. We wanted to understand more from them about the consequences of Rutherford’s closure.

Yesterday they issued The Leveller® with a statement as follows: “We are looking to maintain the diagnostic centre in Taunton for our patients with minimal disruption. We will contact patients directly to reschedule their scans if this is necessary as we look to implement alternative arrangements. The centre has made a real difference to our ability to scan patients quickly. Since it opened at the end of September last year, the percentage of NHS patients in Somerset who are waiting longer than the national standard for a diagnostic test has reduced considerably. When the centre opened, 7,375 of our patients were waiting for a diagnostic test and 45.8% of them were waiting longer than the national 6-week standard. Our latest figures show that 7,574 patients are waiting for a diagnostic test and 28.3% of them are waiting longer than the 6-week standard.”

Of course how to fund the centre into the future is the problem. Together with a need to keep Philips on board, the company who provide the diagnostic equipment.

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