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NHS England's Cancer Taskforce’s Cancer Strategy update

Posted by: Policy and campaigning 25 October 2016

NHS England has today published 'Achieving world-class cancer outcomes: A strategy for England 2015 - 2020 - One Year On', an update report on progress made delivering the recommendations of the Independent Cancer Taskforce’s Cancer Strategy, one year on since its publication.

Responding to this, Alex Ford, CEO at Pancreatic Cancer UK said: “It’s encouraging to see NHS England making inroads into delivering many of the Taskforce’s recommendations and we’re glad to see that progress has been made on several key recommendations including; the testing of the new 28 day diagnosis standard and establishing 16 Cancer Alliances. We’re particularly pleased to see progression on piloting Multi-Diagnostic Centres, which can help lead to an early diagnosis of cancers with vague symptoms, such as pancreatic cancer.

“We also strongly welcome the coinciding announcement that NHS England will be investing £130m in updating radiotherapy equipment. It is vital to improving survival outcomes that all cancer patients have access to the most up-to-date, effective treatments – something that we are calling for in our Key to Survival campaign.

“However, for the Cancer Strategy to truly be considered a success, it needs to also focus its attention on the lowest surviving cancers. Pancreatic cancer has the worst survival rate of the 21 most common cancers with only five per cent of patients surviving five years or more. It’s shocking this figure has hardly changed for 40 years. We remain concerned that without specific measures to target less survivable cancers, they will be left even further behind. “We will continue to call for specific targets to improve survival among the most deadly cancers, and closely monitor the impact of the recommendations on pancreatic cancer.”