Detailed plans to transform cancer care in England and save thousands of extra lives each year were announced today by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley.
Overall these plans will drive up England’s cancer survival rates so that by 2014/15 an extra 5,000 lives will be saved every year.
Improving Outcomes – A Strategy for Cancer, sets out how the government, NHS and public can prevent cancer, improve the quality and efficiency of cancer services and move towards achieving outcomes which rival the best in Europe.
The Strategy – backed with more than £750m over four years – sets out a range of actions to improve cancer outcomes, including:
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said:
“Cancer affects us all. Everyone will have a story of someone they love battling the disease. In those instances we all need to know that the NHS will be there for us.
“Our ambition is simple, to deliver survival rates among the best in Europe and this strategy outlines how we will make our first steps towards this.
“The coalition government’s reforms of health and care services will drive improvements in what matters most to patients and their families – cancer outcomes. Our commitment is to save 5,000 extra lives a year from 2014/15 and that is what we will be measuring our success against.”
Central to these plans is an investment of more than £450 million to increase earlier diagnosis. This money will fund increased GP access to diagnostic tests and more testing and treatment in secondary care. It will also go towards Public Health England – the new public health service - to promote screening and raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of cancer.
Over the Spending Review period, this will allow for primary care access to over two million extra tests, in addition to funding increased testing and treatment in secondary care. Tests include:
In addition, the government will provide extra investment to increase access to radiotherapy and ensure all patients are able to get this critical treatment.
Care Services Minister, Paul Burstow said:
“We are committed to updating the NHS to make it more patient centred. This strategy shows how this will work for our cancer services.
“This Strategy rejects the top-down approach of the past which has stifled innovation and creativity. Instead it focuses on how patients can be empowered and on how clinicians on the frontline can be supported to deliver excellence for all.”
Improving Outcomes – A Strategy for Cancer, is the first of a number of outcomes strategies to be published following on from the White Paper, Equity and excellence: Liberating the NHS.
Outcomes strategies will play a crucial role in translating the underpinning principles of the coalition government’s reforms of the health and care services into the steps it needs to take to drive improvements health outcomes; putting patients and the public first, empowering professionals and strengthening local accountability.
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