created by Rachel Hogg published on 08 June 2016

NHS England have set out plans to deliver world class Cancer Services, which includes a fund to find new ways of speeding up diagnosis with the potential to save thousands of more lives every year.

The National Cancer Transformation Board, led by Cally Palmer, National Cancer Director for England, will today publish a wide ranging plan designed to increase prevention, speed up diagnosis, improve the experience of patients and help people living with and beyond cancer.

Cally Palmer, National Cancer Director for England, said: "Cancer survival rates have never been higher and we have some excellent cancer services in this country with dedicated and professional staff, but we know there is more we can do.

"One in two people will be diagnosed with cancer and too many people are being diagnosed when their cancer is advanced.  We need to change this.  Through this cancer strategy we will drive a transformation in cancer care that will touch every corner of the country and improve services for thousands of people."

A £15 million initial and immediate investment for a major programme of work to support earlier and faster diagnosis of cancer.  This programme will involve:

  • Creating a National Diagnostics Capacity Fund - investment to test initiatives to increase capacity and productivity of diagnostic services
  • Trialling new multidisciplinary diagnostic centres - run over the next two years, this will help inform other areas to replicate good practice across the country
  • Testing the new Faster Diagnosis Standard - piloted in five local health communities, the ambition is for patients referred for testing by a GP to be definitively diagnosed with cancer, or have cancer ruled out, within four weeks.

The NHS will also set up Cancer Alliances made up of clinical and other local leaders from across different health and care settings.  These alliances will review all data for their area - including survival, early diagnosis rates, treatment outcomes, patient experience and quality of life - and use it to pinpoint areas for local improvement.

To support this, the NHS has brought together all the data available in one place to create a new integrated 'dashboard' for cancer, which has also been launched today.  The dashboard will also include data on patient experience to start conversations locally through Cancer Alliances and ensure improvements are made if needed.

Public Health Minister, Jane Ellison MP said: "We want to make the UK the best in the world for cancer care, treatment and survival.

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