Council leaders from across south west London and Surrey have condemned today’s  announcement by NHS managers that children’s cancer services are to be removed from Tooting’s St George’s Hospital and The Royal Marsden at Sutton.

The NHS has confirmed that paediatric cancer treatments are to end at those sites and instead be provided at the Evelina Hospital at Waterloo from 2026 following a 12-week public consultation.

The cross-party group of council leaders from all three main parties, Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrats, say the decision is short-sighted, goes against parents’ wishes and risks the loss of clinical expertise built up over 25 years.

They say they also have serious concerns about potential travel difficulties for the 1,400 child cancer patients and their families due to the Evelina’s location in central London.

The council leaders have jointly written to the Health Secretary urging her to reverse the decision.

Wandsworth Council Leader Simon Hogg, who has led Wandsworth’s campaign to save children’s cancer care at St George’s, said: “This is a hugely disappointing decision, and shows that little attention has been paid to the families of children with cancer, who have overwhelmingly voiced their opposition to these proposals.

“St George’s has been offering high-quality cancer care to children for the past 25 years. The removal of services risks losing that clinical expertise and could have a serious knock-on effect on other specialist treatments the hospital provides.

“Our fight to keep children’s cancer care at St George’s does not end here. We will do everything in our power to make sure the NHS and government re-consider this decision and do what is best for families.”

St George’s supports child patients from across south west London, Surrey, Brighton and Hove, East Sussex, Kent and Medway.

A spokesperson for NHS England London and South East regions said: “While the current service provides a safe, high-quality service for children with cancer it does not, and cannot, meet the latest requirements to be on the same site as a level three children’s intensive care unit.

Speaking to us before the decision, mum Jenny Houghton, who launched the campaign against the move, told Jacqui Kerr why she felt it was the wrong decision.