We’ve been speaking to Welsh Assembly Members about beating cancer
Detecting cancer earlier could prevent more than 4,000 premature deaths a year across the UK, according to some estimates.
Last week, we discussed the importance of early diagnosis with Welsh Assembly members in Cardiff. It was a great opportunity to talk about why recognising cancer symptoms and early diagnosis is important in improving outcomes for patients in Wales.
It was a busy lunchtime event, with around 15 Members coming along to hear about Wales’ cancer survival rates, which remain poorer than in other comparable European countries.
The Welsh Government has published its first comprehensive cancer plan
The Welsh Government has just published its first ever comprehensive cancer plan – Together Against Cancer – in which it sets out how it will prevent more cancers and improve cancer services in Wales.
The plan’s overall aim is to provide a clear strategy to improve Wales’ cancer survival rates so that they are comparable with the best in Europe. This is vital – Wales continues to lag behind some of the best performing countries in Europe.
The plan demonstrates the Government’s commitment to improving outcomes for cancer patients in Wales.
But the financial climate represents a significant barrier to putting the plan into action. This crucial challenge must be met to ensure cancer services continue to improve for patients in Wales and their families.
Here’s a quick review of what the plan covers, and our reaction to it.
We'll be keeping an eye on how the NHS reforms progress
After a controversial journey through parliament, the Government’s NHS reforms, known as the Health and Social Care Act, were passed into law a few weeks ago.
As a result, in just under a year’s time, the new ‘Clinical Commissioning Groups’ (CCGs) will have completed their first week as fully established legal bodies, formally replacing the current organisations – Primary Care Trusts.
Between now and then, as CCGs get up and running, they will need to ensure they fulfil their new duties which are included in the Health and Social Care Act.
Two of these are particularly critical for improving things for cancer patients in the NHS.
The first is commissioning health services for the local communities they serve (or, in other words, deciding how much of their budgets they allocate to different types of care).
The second is their duty to promote research across the NHS.
But how will these legal duties be put into practice? Here are our thoughts on how to ensure a successful transition.
Will government's new Cancer Strategy help beat cancer?
The coalition government today published a new cancer plan – Improving Outcomes – A Strategy for Cancer – in which they set out a plan to prevent more cancers, improve the country’s cancer services and raise survival rates to match the best in Europe.
The Strategy – which has been allocated £750 million over four years – demonstrates the government’s commitment to improving outcomes for cancer patients in England.
But with the current financial challenges and looming radical restructures in the NHS, the most important element will be how the Strategy is put into practice.
This crucial challenge needs to be met to ensure cancer services continue to improve for patients and their families.