Mr Paul Finan
Consultant General and Colorectal Surgeon
Professor Finan is a consultant general surgeon, specialising in colorectal surgery including bowel cancer. He has worked in Leeds for 35 years. He performed his first surgery at the hospital during its first week of opening.
How did you first hear about the new hospital?
I received a letter from the hospital team asking me to meet them. At that time, there was no private hospital in Leeds centre which had out-patient facilities on the same site as in-patient facilities and operating theatres.
This meant that consultants who did practice privately had to move from one facility to another for various stages of patient treatment.
To have both together was a great advantage and as I already lived in Roundhay, I decided to set up practice.
What do you think the next 25 years hold within your specialist area?
Within my sub specialty, I would anticipate that the number of patients diagnosed with bowel cancer may well continue to increase as this tends to be a disease of the elderly and people are living far longer. To react to this, I anticipate that screening technology will continue to broaden, specifically endoscopy procedures. The quality of X-ray and scanning continues to improve at a tremendous pace which can only benefit the diagnosis and treatment services for patients.
There is much talk about whether NHS hospitals may become centres for the more complex, acute (emergency) type of medical care whilst established, high quality hospitals such as Spire may well undertake higher volumes of elective (planned) operations – these will still be very complex but can beplanned in advance. The most noticeable advances I have witnessed include The Calman-Hine Cancer Review. This 1995 plan outlined radical reform of the UK’s cancer services with the aim of improving outcomes and reducing inequalities in NHS cancer care. Its main recommendation was to concentrate care into the hands of site-specialist, multi-disciplinary cancer teams (MDTs).
Patients often now have procedures which are less invasive and allow them togo home the same day rather than stay in hospital for long periods of time. The introduction of keyhole surgery and video-endoscopy has also been very influential. Liver re-section surgery for cancer is now regularly undertaken – this greatly improves survival rates for patients with previous bowel cancer, as parts ofthe liver can be removed and so patients can in some cases be cured, evenwhen the cancer has spread. Bowel cancer affects one in 50 people and it affects women and men roughly equally. The national bowel cancer screening programmes are now proven to be successful and show it to be a curable disease.
What have you enjoyed about working at the hospital?
Many of the staff here have worked with me for many years. The hospital seems to keep hold of its staff very well and working relationships are really strong. The hospital is run very efficiently – for example, I can count the times on just one hand in the whole of the last 25 years when I’ve had to cancel a patient’s surgery because of bed shortages and this is a testament to both the service offered to patients and the doctors who work here.