All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer report warns Cancer Strategy risks failure

December 6, 2017
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APPGC says NHS England should take corrective action immediately

Today at its annual ‘Britain Against Cancer’ conference in Westminster, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer (APPGC) launches its report into progress half-way through the England Cancer Strategy (2015-2020). Having received extensive evidence from across the NHS and sector, including over 80 written submissions and two oral evidence sessions, the report concludes that the Cancer Strategy risks failure unless NHS England takes corrective action immediately. The APPGC hopes NHS England will heed the feedback from front-line services.

The report highlights:
• Concerns around the state of workforce planning, with a strategic review, originally promised for December 2016, only now being published – this now needs to be backed up by commitment and funding.
• Extra transformation funding for front-line services is being withheld by NHS England because it added the 62-day wait target as an additional requirement after these front-line services had submitted their bids – front-line funding must now be decoupled from the 62-day target.
• Delays in data publication, and the under-use of rarer cancer data, are proving a further concern.
Commenting on the report, John Baron MP, Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer said:

“This report will make for difficult reading in certain quarters, but it is a representative picture of where we find ourselves. Progress has been made in some areas, but overall a lack of audit and workforce planning, and the delay in funding to front-line services from NHS England, threaten to derail the Strategy. Corrective action now needs to be taken.”

“It is important we get this right. It remains an inconvenient truth that, whilst survival rates globally are improving, we have still to catch up with international averages. In 2009, the Government estimated that we could save an extra 10,000 lives each year if we matched European survival rates.”

“The APPGC hopes NHS England accepts the feedback from front-line services and heeds the report. We look forward to discussing its findings with the Government and NHS England both at ‘Britain Against Cancer’ today and afterwards.”

Notes to Editors:
• A copy of the report is online at: www.macmillan.org.uk/appgc-on-the-cancer-strategy.

• The report is the result of the APPGC’s cross-party inquiry which took evidence from health system leaders, frontline NHS officials, industry and charities in oral sessions in Parliament this autumn as well as in more than 80 written submissions over the summer.

• The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer (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. More information is available at: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmallparty/171108/cancer.htm.

• The APPGC’s annual ‘Britain Against Cancer’ conference is one of the largest one-day cancer conferences in the UK. It offers a unique opportunity for the cancer community to catch up, network, share best practice, and hear from some of the top decision-makers in cancer care.

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