To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the NHS Network Contract Directed Enhanced Service, Early: Cancer Diagnosis Guidance, published on 31 March 2021, what plans the Government has to produce a long-term strategy to tackle the estimated 37,000 people who had not started their first cancer treatment.
28 July 2021
Public Health England in partnership with NHS England and NHS Improvement, is running a campaign, ‘Help us help you’, to raise awareness of general symptoms of cancer and encourage people experiencing persistent symptoms to contact their general practitioner. Cancer referrals were over 10,500 referrals per day in April, and 11,000 per day in May.
Local systems, drawing on advice and analysis from their Cancer Alliance, will ensure that there is sufficient diagnostic and treatment capacity in place to meet the needs of cancer to meet the increased level of referrals and treatment required to address the shortfall in number of first treatments by March 2022. NHS England and NHS Improvement are prioritising delivery of NHS Long Term Plan commitments that also support recovery such as increasing diagnostic capacity and early diagnosis and survival rates through rapid diagnostic centres (RDC). As of June 2021, there were 88 active RDC pathways across hospitals in England, compared to 12 in March 2020.