Ratings published for local cancer services
New ratings published by NHS England show how different areas of the country are handling the diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients.
The data covers the last two years and provides baselines for a number of clinical priority areas, including cancer.
Due to ambitious goals set by the NHS, many areas are shown as needing to improve.
The ratings have been published on the MyNHS website and are broken down by local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). They show both the areas in need of improvement and examples of best practice.
Cancer ratings are based on four indicators – early diagnosis, one-year survival, 62-day waits after referral, and overall patient experience.
Sir Harpal Kumar, Cancer Research UK’s chief executive, said: “Providing the best possible care and treatment for patients is an imperative throughout the health service.
“The purpose of providing this assessment for the first time was to help CCGs understand the potential for improvement in some of the priority areas identified in the NHS Cancer Strategy which we published last year.
“By helping them understand how they compare to others, CCGs can seek support and the NHS can target its efforts, so that all areas improve the care they offer to patients.”
Health is largely a devolved issue – meaning decisions are made separately across the different countries, so these measurements are just for England.
An NHS England spokesperson said: “NHS cancer patients' care is now the best it’s ever been, but we've set stretching goals to save thousands more lives by 2020.
“Measured against this ambition it's not surprising that most local services need to make further improvements, but we're going to track progress transparently so everyone can see how we are improving care and outcomes for patients.
“Over the past four years adult smoking rates are down by nearly 1 million people demonstrating the benefits of a comprehensive public health policy. This will be the single biggest contributor to reduced cancer deaths.
“On top of current funding, this year we are also investing an extra £15m in improving early diagnosis and setting up Cancer Alliances to bring together leadership across local areas to drive improvements.”