The Government’s Health and Social Care Bill has been hitting the headlines recently. We’ve been asked a lot of questions about what we think about the Bill and what we’re doing to champion the concerns of cancer patients and researchers.
The Bill means big changes to the way the NHS works. The reforms aim to move decision making away from the Department of Health towards local bodies, especially family doctors and local councils. It’s all about giving more power to patients through the ethos of “no decision about me, without me“.
Here at Cancer Research UK we’ve been looking hard at what the changes to the NHS might mean to cancer patients being treated or taking part in clinical research in the NHS in England.
We want to make sure that change happens in the right way to help improve cancer outcomes in the UK.
This is particularly important, because cancer survival rates in the UK are lower than in some other similar countries, even though UK research is responsible for developing life-saving treatments that are used around the world. It’s not entirely clear what’s causing the differences, (although researchers suspect that late diagnosis plays a key role) so we’re looking into why our patient outcomes are lagging behind, and how we can improve things.
So which proposals in the Bill will have the biggest impact upon cancer patients and will they make things better?