Intended for healthcare professionals


Centralisation of cancer services in rural areas has disadvantages

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 11 March 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:717
  1. A Gordon Baird, general practitioner. (,
  2. C Mary Donnelly, general practitioner.,
  3. Nigel T Miscampell, general practitioner,
  4. Helen D Wemyss, practice nurse.
  1. The White House, Sandhead, Wigtownshire DG9 9JA

    EDITOR—Smith describes “disproportionate time and energy” being spent in “a battle over surgical services” in Dumfries and Galloway.1

    In our rural practice of 2700 patients 32 cases of cancer were identified over 2.5 years. When travel to local services was excluded the 32 patients travelled on average 1479 km—over 20 hours by private car. Eleven died of their disease over that period and travelled an average of 1880 km, taking nearly 30 hours. No one chose ambulance transport, but six had to …

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