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Cancer: Health Services

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 41195, tabled on 28 April 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the NHS is taking to reschedule as soon as possible cancer treatments and operations that were cancelled as a result of the covid-19 outbreak in hospitals.

Answered on

29 May 2020

A letter was issued to trusts on 29 April detailing the Second Phase of Response to COVID-19. This letter sets out that:

Local systems and Cancer Alliances must continue to identify ring-fenced diagnostic and surgical capacity for cancer, and providers must protect and deliver cancer surgery and cancer treatment by ensuring that cancer surgery hubs are fully operational. Full use should be made of the available contracted independent sector hospital and diagnostic capacity locally and regionally. Regional cancer Senior Responsible Officers must now provide assurance that these arrangements are in place everywhere.

Treatment must be brought back to pre-pandemic levels at the earliest opportunity to minimise potential harm, and to reduce the scale of the post-pandemic surge in demand.