John Baron: MPs and cancer charity Chief Executives send letter to all CCGs regarding earlier diagnosis

April 28, 2017

40 cancer charities join Parliamentarians to raise awareness of the importance of improving local one-year survival rates

We know that the best way to improve survival rates is to diagnose cancer earlier. We can measure the NHS’ performance at detecting cancer early by looking at how many people survive for over one year following their cancer diagnosis. In England, the current one year survival rate is 70.4%, whereas the latest comparable data for Sweden shows that their one year survival rate is 81%.

This week, all cancer-specific All-Party Parliamentary Groups, led by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on cancer (APPGC), Parliamentarians, and 40 cancer charities, including Cancer Research UK, have joined forces and written to all CCGs in England to highlight the important role they have in improving one-year survival rates, and to offer support in helping to achieve this. A sample copy of the letter is attached.

John Baron MP, Chairman of the APPGC said,

“If we are going to improve cancer survival rates, we must improve early diagnosis. By writing to CCGs we hope to further raise awareness of this issue, and encourage them to drive forward improvements so that thousands more people are able to survive cancer.”

“We have also written to offer our support as we are conscious that CCGs do not have responsibility for broad national issues, such as the workforce. The APPGC’s summer Parliamentary reception, which recognises the 20 CCGs which have most improved their one-year figures, presents a further opportunity to engage.”

Notes to Editors:

• By 2020, almost half of the UK population will receive a cancer diagnosis during their lifetime[i]. However, whilst cancer survival rates in England have improved over the last few decades, the latest data show that we are still not catching up with international averages. If our survival rates matched the best in Europe, tens of thousands of lives could be saved each year.

• The APPGC has long campaigned to ensure that Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are accountable for improving their local one year survival rates. This could be achieved by initiatives including improved public awareness, better screening uptake, further training, better diagnostic tools for GPs to encourage timely referrals, and working with Cancer Alliances to implement the recommendations of the England Cancer Strategy on early diagnosis.

• The APPGC was founded in 1998 to keep cancer at the top of the political agenda, and to ensure that policy-making remains patient centred. It brings together MPs and Peers from across the political spectrum to debate key issues and campaign together to improve cancer services.

• The APPG’s landmark event is the annual Britain Against Cancer conference, which will take place this year on 5 December 2017. This event is a unique opportunity to bring together everyone who has an interest in improving cancer services in the UK.

• The Secretariat to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer is provided by Macmillan Cancer Support and supported by a stakeholder group of organisations including Breast Cancer Now, Cancer Research UK, the Men’s Health Forum, the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (NCRI), Prostate Cancer UK, Teenage Cancer Trust, Cancer 52 and Independent Cancer Patient Voice.

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