Cancer services in England

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

We have created a central resources hub for Health Professionals which hosts all of our CRUK resources and further materials to help with managing the pandemic. We are updating the information as guidance changes. There is also a page specifically for patients on our about cancer hub.

Health Professional COVID-19 and Cancer Hub

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Get in touch with our policy team to find out more information about our work and our policies.

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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.

Since the cancer strategy was published in 2015, we have continued to monitor the state of cancer services in England to ensure that the challenges outlined in our 2014 report ‘Measuring up?’ are being addressed. 

Two of the key challenges we reported are being addressed. A national cancer team has been set up to provide national leadership for cancer services and to make sure the cancer strategy comes a reality.  And local Cancer Alliances, made of up doctors and NHS managers from across the system, have been set up to provide local leadership and cut through the confusion about the responsibilities of new NHS organisations. 

However, in 2014 we also reported a lack of capacity to respond to rising demand, and fragmentation of commissioning across the patient pathway. While the NHS is taking steps to address this fragmentation in cancer by bringing commissioners and providers together in new structures called Cancer Alliances. These groups are still in their early stages. 

Capacity in NHS cancer services remains a big challenge. Demand continues to grow, and while NHS staff are working harder than ever to keep up, waiting times continue to increase. These pressures are causing poorer current performance and having a negative impact on the successful implementation of the cancer strategy.

We will continue to monitor the implementation of the cancer strategy to ensure that patients see the benefits.

Related documents

Health and Social Care Select Commitee Inquiry into Cancer Services: CRUK response (September 2021)

Scaling up improvements in cancer services: CRUK’s view on the progress and future of cancer alliances (August 2021)

How can we best incentivise world class cancer services in England (September 2019)

Driving investment in upstream cancer services – 2020 Delivery report (October 2018)

Submission to the House of Commons Health Committee inquiry on Brexit and social care (October 2016)

Response to the House of Lords Select Committee on the long-term sustainability of the NHS (September 2016)

Response to the consultation on Greater Manchester’s devolved powers (May 2016)

Submission to the Public Accounts Committee’s inquiry on NHS specialised services (May 2016)

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

Delivering world-leading cancer services: An analysis of the funding context for cancer services in England (September 2015)

Delivering world-leading cancer services: expert opinions on the changes required to bridge the outcomes gap with comparable countries (September 2015)

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

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

Cancer Services: Reverse, Pause or Progress? (December 2012) - executive summary

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

Cancer Services: Reverse, Pause or Progress? (December 2012) - full report

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