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Getting a Better Deal for Rare and Less Common Cancers - One Year on from the NHS Long Term Plan

Working with our members, Cancer52 has looked at the progress that has been made for people with rare and less common cancers against the NHS Long Term Plan since it was published just over a year ago. Our findings and recommendations are published in our report Getting a better deal for rare and less common cancers: One year on from the NHS Long Term Plan.

The work to inform, and the drafting of, this report was undertaken before the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020 and the serious implications this has led to for the National Health Service and the wider country. Cancer52 has decided to publish this report knowing that plans and activity will need to be halted while this national emergency is dealt with. The report will stand as a record of where developments and progress for people with rare and less common cancers had been made against the NHS Long Term Plan by early Spring 2020.

While we've seen significant progress made to diagnose cancers earlier, including rare and less common cancers, with work to develop the 75% earlier diagnosis target, the soon to be rolled out Faster Diagnosis Standard and the further development of rapid diagnostics centres, more can be done on development of the cancer workforce to fill worrying gaps and to ensure people can access treatments.

Cancer52 and its members will continue to work with and support our partners to ensure people with rare and less common cancers get a better deal. This report will be published annually so that progress can be monitored and so that we can offer our expertise and knowledge.

Among our recommendations going forward, we would like NHSEngland to develop ways for all cancers to be included in the earlier diagnosis target, regardless of completeness of data or difficulties with staging certain cancers. We would like to see a detailed plan of how gaps in the rare and less common cancer workforce will be addressed. There are also some key recommendations from the 2015 Cancer Strategy that should be carried forward and we have highlighted these within the report.

You can read all our recommendations and analysis of progress in our report here.

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