Massive campaign win for people with pancreatic cancer

We are delighted that today, NHS England has published new guidance recommending that pancreatic cancer should be diagnosed more quickly.  

In its new guide (called the Best Practice Timed Pathway), the NHS in England is telling health services to diagnose people within 21 days of people being referred for tests by their GP. This could be a gamechanger for people affected by pancreatic cancer – half of whom are dying within three months of diagnosis.  

The NHS previously recommended that people get diagnosed in the space of 28 days, but we’ve been calling for this to be done within 21 days because with this cancer there’s no time to wait. The great news is they’ve heard our calls and are now recommending this happens within 21 days 

Currently 7 in 10 people with pancreatic cancer don’t get any form of treatment. This new NHS guide could mean that many more people could get their diagnosis in time; in time to get chemotherapy or surgery and get the right support to help them have a good quality of life.  

The guide includes a number of important wins for people with and affected by pancreatic cancer – off the back of campaigning we’ve been doing and are still running. 

Our campaign wins

We’ve campaigned for a number of years for people with pancreatic cancer to be diagnosed more quickly, and receive better and fairer support and care. Now, the NHS in England has listened and included these recommendations in this new guidance. 

The NHS has included a number of recommendations, following our previous campaign demands, including: 

  • Faster diagnosis: Everyone with pancreatic cancer should be diagnosed within 21 days
  • Better care: Everyone should get support and advice from a Clinical Nurse Specialist 
  • Joined up care: Same day coordinated tests to reduce repeat visits, improve patient experience and accelerate treatment decisions
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Quotemarks Created with Sketch.

These major campaigns got the attention of NHS decision-makers, and we were given a seat at the table when NHS England was writing its guide.  

You played a huge role in making this happen. These major campaigns got the attention of NHS decision-makers, and we were given a seat at the table when NHS England was writing its guide.  

Find out more about the guide here.

What now?

The publication of the guide is a positive step in the right direction. But right now, it’s only a guide – and we now need to see this adopted in every area of the country. We’ll be working with NHS England and local health services to make sure this guide becomes a reality.  

However, we also need whoever becomes the next government after the General Election this year to commit to rolling this pathway out across the country. That means giving systems the funding they need to make this happen going forward, including the workforce and capacity to deliver a faster pathway.  

Join us in calling on all political parties to make this a reality if they become the next government by getting involved in our Demand Survival Now campaign.  

Sign our open letter

How we are calling for faster diagnosis across the UK

Scotland is also making improvements on the pancreatic cancer diagnosis pathway. The Scottish Government has invested in an accelerated diagnosis pathway to speed up diagnosis and access to expert support and care for two of the deadliest cancers in Scotland, including pancreatic cancer.  

We’re also delighted that the Department of Health in Northern Ireland has recently announced a partnership with us, and the Northern Ireland charity NIPANC, to deliver an improved pathway for pancreatic cancer across Northern Ireland. 

The changes in this new guide in England – and movements across the nations – present a real moment of change for people with pancreatic cancer. However, we won’t stop campaigning to double survival rates for pancreatic cancer and ensure that everyone with this disease lives long and well.