Politicians, NHS and Cancer Community highlight key challenges
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer (APPGC) held its annual ‘Britain Against Cancer’ (BAC) conference in Methodist Central Hall, Westminster this week. BAC is a major event in the cancer calendar, bringing together policymakers, cancer professionals, charities and patients. In all, around 600 delegates attended – a new record. The keynote speech was given by the Secretary of State for Health, Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP. Other speakers included Rt Hon Andy Burnham MP (Shadow Secretary of State) and Sean Duffy (National Clinical Director for Cancer).
At this year’s conference, the APPGC launched its major new report on how cancer services will be affected by the recent changes to NHS structures [attached]. John Baron MP, as Chairman of the APPGC, spoke at the opening of the conference and chaired the event.
‘This was another hugely successful BAC. I would like to thank Jeremy, Andy, Sean and the other speakers for contributing, and everyone who helped to organise and run the event, as well as the many delegates who took part.
‘Our report poses important questions to NHS England as to how our cancer services will work in the newly-restructured NHS. Greater clarity as to accountability between the Government, Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and NHS England is required, particularly with regards to how underperforming CCGs will be induced to up their game. I look forward to NHS England’s response.’
Ciarán Devane, Chief Executive at Macmillan Cancer Support, said:
‘Britain Against Cancer is where the whole cancer community comes together to share its successes and its concerns. This year there was strong endorsement of the APPGC’s position that actions including the Be Clear On Cancer campaigns and extending the Cancer Drugs Fund were very welcome, and saved lives.
‘There was equally strong endorsement of the view that it is not acceptable for one and five year survival for cancer patients in Britain to be amongst the worst in Europe. Much greater urgency and focus is required by Clinical Commissioning Groups, by Specialised Commissioning, and by primary and secondary care providers to adopt best practice.’