Cancer services in England

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It is vital that the NHS works well for cancer patients. We therefore monitor and analyse the state of cancer services in the NHS, and call for improvements to ensure cancer patients get the best care possible.

In September 2014, we published Measuring up? The health of NHS cancer services. This report analysed state of cancer services following years of financial constraint and the biggest re-structure in the NHS’s history. It found that while services have coped well with rising demand, cracks are starting to appear, and a number of challenges were reported, including:

  • A lack of capacity to respond to rising demand;
  • The loss of national and local leadership and infrastructure;
  • Fragmentation of commissioning across the patient pathway;
  • Variation in understanding of roles and responsibilities of new NHS organisations

Since we published this report, the new cancer strategy for England has been introduced. Our chief executive, Sir Harpal Kumar, led the taskforce which developed the strategy; it seeks to address several of the themes identified in Measuring up?

Cancer Research UK supports the strategy’s vision to deliver a step change in cancer outcomes during this Parliament. We are now contributing to the implementation work programme and monitoring progress to ensure patients see benefits as soon as possible. 

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