This is an ambitious plan by NHS England to move more care into the community and out of hospital, accompanied by increased funding for primary and community care, as well as continuing the trend of greater integration of services.
The cancer commitments are relatively few but hearteningly take an ‘all cancer’ approach, which by definition includes rare and less common cancers, instead of previous approaches, which have sometimes prioritised the four more common cancers.
Cancer52 specifically welcomes the following cancer commitments
The ambition to ensure that 75% of cancers are diagnosed at stage 1 and 2 by 2028
A commitment to collect data for all patients in 2019 to support the development of the faster diagnosis standard, which will be rolled out from 2020 and will ensure that people have cancer ruled in or out within 28 days from a referral by their GP or from screening
Increasing the roll out of Rapid Diagnostic Centres (RDCs) from 2019 to help the diagnosis of cancer, and allowing self referral by patients
Extending the use of molecular diagnostics
That from 2021 all patients will have access to the right support, including a personalised care plan and either a Clinical Nurse Specialist or a support worker
We would however reemphasise the need for an appropriately resourced workforce as staffing gaps are currently impeding our ability to provide world leading cancer care.