Cancer services in England

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. 


Cancer Research UK response to the NHS Mandate consultation (November 2015)

Download response


Measuring up? The health of NHS cancer services (September 2014)

An evaluation of the current state of cancer services in England, which builds on our 2012 report

Download executive summary

Download full report

Cancer Services: Reverse, Pause or Progress? (December 2012​)

The NHS reforms and efficiency savings: an early assessment of the impact on cancer services in England

Download executive summary

Download recommendations

Download full report

Delivering world-leading cancer services (September 2015​)

Part one: An analysis of the funding context for cancer services in England

Download full report

Part two: expert opinions on the changes required to bridge the outcomes gap with comparable countries

Download full report

For parliamentarians

Contact Sara Bainbridge to request local cancer statistics for your local area in pdf format, with suggestions for action from Cancer Research UK.

Contact us

Get in touch with our policy team to find out more information about our policy on NHS cancer services.

Call our policy team for more information.

020 3469 8360

Email the team

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