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Cancer: Medical Treatments

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 18741, tabled on 21 February 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of introducing a cancer care fund to provide early access for people to cancer treatment not funded on the NHS.

Answered on

2 March 2020

No such assessment has been made.

To improve cancer care, the NHS Long Term Plan sets out how we will speed up the path from innovation to business-as-usual, spreading proven new techniques and technologies and reducing variation. Faster, smarter and effective radiotherapy, supported by greater networking of specialised expertise, will mean more patients are offered curative treatment, with fewer side effects and shorter treatment times.

Since October 2010, the Cancer Drugs Fund has enabled over 120,000 approvals for treating people in England with life-extending cancer drugs that would not otherwise have been available to them. This year £340 million has been invested in the Fund and we have spent more than £1.9 billion helping people with cancer get the treatments they need.

By 2021, where appropriate every person diagnosed with cancer will have access to personalised care, including needs assessment, a care plan and health and wellbeing information and support. This will be delivered in line with the NHS Comprehensive Model for Personalised Care. This will empower people to manage their care and the impact of their cancer and maximise the potential of digital and community-based support. Over the next three years every patient with cancer will receive a Personalised Care and Support Plan based on holistic needs assessment, end of treatment summaries and health and wellbeing information and support. All patients, including those with secondary cancers, will have access to the right expertise and support, including a Clinical Nurse Specialist or other support worker.

NHS England has committed funding of over £1.3 billion over the next five years to deliver the commitments on cancer in the Long Term Plan.