A local health policy covering breast reconstruction for cancer patients will set new standards for treatment if it gets the go ahead next week.
The Governing Body of Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCG will consider introducing the new policy at its meeting on Tuesday 5th June.
The CCG worked with local patient groups and clinicians over the past year to put the policy together before going out to consultation for 13 weeks in late January.
The proposed policy would allow patients to access reconstructive surgery to balance their breasts after recovery from breast cancer surgery within five years, or seven years in cases of inflammatory breast cancer.
Extensions to these timescales would be considered where there is clinical support to do so.
“We are extremely grateful to the contributions from local patient groups and clinicians who have worked with us to put this policy together,” said Dr Peter Brindle, Medical Director at the CCG. “The first draft of the policy, published last summer, received a lot of adverse comments because it did not cover the unaffected breast.”
“We listened to what patients, surgeons and local groups had to say and revised our thoughts so that the new policy reflects the feedback we received.
“The new policy will mean that every single patient will receive treatment as approved by a group of breast cancer specialists and agreed with the patient, based on a clear set of principles,” added Dr Brindle.
If the proposal is adopted by the Governing Body, it will mean that Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCG will have a clear policy providing consistent access to reconstructive surgery for breast cancer patients.
The CCG meeting will also consider changes to the prescribing of gluten free foods in Bristol.
If approved, the changes will bring Bristol into line with North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.
GPs would no longer routinely prescribe gluten free food items for patients with coeliac disease aged 18 and over.
For patients under 18, prescriptions would be limited to staple food items such as bread, pasta, flour and multi-purpose flour mixes.