Responding to a new study in the Lancet Oncology that cancer survival rates in Britain are worse than those in other high income countries, David Hare, Chief Executive of the Independent Healthcare Providers Network, said:
“While it’s encouraging that cancer survival rates are continuing to improve in the UK, this latest study from the Lancet contains some sobering figures, highlighting just how much more needs to be done to ensure cancer patients can access get the best possible diagnosis and treatment.
“A key part of improving cancer care will be increasing the workforce and it’s vital the forthcoming NHS People Plan sets out some clear plans in this area. But the focus also needs to be on utilising the diagnostics workforce in more effective ways, including through using scanners in the most efficient way possible.
“Independent diagnostics providers currently work in partnership with NHS commissioners and Trusts across the country, bringing in new and innovative ways of working, such as deploying mobile facilities so that screening is more accessible to people’s homes and workplaces and enabling scans can be carried later into the evenings and at weekends, as well as providing state-of-the-art technology such as proton beam therapy. With today’s NHS performance figures showing that the target for patients to be diagnosed within 6 weeks has not been met since 2013, it’s vital that this additional capacity and expertise is utilised so that the NHS to ensure it becomes a world leader in early diagnosis and treatment”