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Cancer commissioning overhaul planned

Cancer commissioning overhaul planned

The Independent Cancer Workforce has recommended a new “route map” for cancer prevention, diagnosis and care which Simon Stevens, NHS England chief executive, says the NHS will be backing
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The Independent Cancer Workforce has recommended a new “route map” for cancer prevention, diagnosis and care which Simon Stevens, NHS England chief executive, says the NHS will be backing.

The plan, which the Taskforce predicts could save 30,000 lives a year, suggests clearer expectations need to be set by the end of 2015 for how cancer services should be commissioned, with most treatment then being commissioned at population sizes above CCG level.

By 2016, the report proposes that a network of Cancer Alliances should be established across the country to bring together key partners at a local level, including patients. The Alliances would use a dashboard of key metrics to address variation and support service redesign.

Responding to the report, Simon Stevens said that “one in two of us will get cancer at some point in our lives, and the good news is that survival rates are their highest ever. But two fifths of cancers are preventable, and half of patients are currently diagnosed when their cancers are advanced. That’s why the NHS will be backing this groundbreaking route map for prevention, earlier diagnosis, modern treatments and compassionate care.”

The Taskforce has recommended that a National Cancer Team (NCT) should oversee the delivery of the Strategy.

This strategy would include encouraging earlier diagnosis by giving GPs access to key investigative tests while piloting models that reduce the burden on GPs, also giving patients electronic access to records and a ‘Recovery Package’ that outlines the available post-treatment support.

The report also advocated an upgraded prevention strategy, including a new tobacco strategy within 12 months to cut smoking rates from 18.4%  to 13% by 2020, and a national action plan on obesity.

Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Public Health England (PHE), added: “PHE plays a critical role in the national response to cancer, including providing the data and intelligence on which the NHS depends, and we warmly welcome the Taskforce’s report. We look forward to considering the recommendations, especially the action plans to reduce smoking and tackle obesity, in detail, and working with our partners to realise the vision of a society that is serious about prevention.”

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