The Cancer Reform
Strategy’s second annual report highlights regional variation in
cancer outcomes and services
The NHS has been challenged to improve cancer services by
publishing local data on survival and mortality rates, Health
Secretary Andy Burnham announced today.
The figures are published as part of the second annual report for
the Cancer Reform Strategy, the vision document published in
December 2007 setting out all the improvements that should be
implemented over the next five years.
Last year the Cancer Reform Strategy Advisory Board accepted that
falling mortality rates indicated good progress had been made at a
national level but recommended that this year’s annual report
focus primarily on local progress.
As a result this year’s report Achieving Local Implementation
willinclude local information so the NHS can identify
priorities for action. The data will cover:
o Breast and cervical cancer screening coverage
survival rates to highlight late diagnosis
o Use of the 2-week urgent referral pathway to highlight
o Compliance with the 62-day standard for
referral to treatment
o Participation in audits
Implementation of the Improving Outcomes Guidance
o Length of
inpatient stays and emergency admissions
Health Secretary Andy Burnham said:
"Cancer treatment in England has improved vastly in
recent years and this is shown in the falling mortality rates and
increasing survival rates.
“However we know that survival rates vary across the country,
particularly in deprived areas, so this year’s report has
deliberately focused on local variations so we can highlight to
the NHS where they need to take action.
“I hope that the publication of this data combined with the Prime
Minister’s pledge to give patients key diagnostic tests within
just one week of seeing their GP will save thousands more lives.”
National Cancer Director Mike Richards said:
“Excellent progress has been made in national implementation of
the Cancer Reform Strategy over the past year including the
vaccination of 78% of girls aged between 12-13 years against
cervical cancer and the rollout of bowel cancer screening for
those aged 60-69 across the country.
“This year we have seen a further fall in cancer mortality with
the latest data showing a drop of almost 20% since 1997 and
considerable improvements in the survival rates for breast, colon,
rectum and prostate cancer.
“The challenge now is to keep up this momentum and this year I
have identified tackling local variations as my top priority. I
urge all PCTs to use this new data to take action so we can
improve outcomes for all cancer patients.”
Ciaran Devane, chief executive at Macmillan Cancer Support said:
“We welcome the publication of this data as a means to ensure the
local NHS delivers on the Cancer Reform Strategy. This will
provide an opportunity for the whole NHS to learn from the success
of the best performing PCTs and will help to improve standards
across the board.
“It is great to know that survival rates are improving, but we
must stay focused to ensure that no matter who you are, where you
are, or which cancer you have, you get the possible best cancer
Other important progress highlighted in the annual report
includes the vaccination of over 78% of girls aged 12-13 years who
have received all three doses of the Human Papilloma Virus
vaccine. It is estimated that the introduction of the HPV vaccine
will save about 400 lives per year.
In addition the rollout of bowel cancer screening to men and
women aged 60-69 years is now almost complete across the country
and almost 4000 cancers have been diagnosed through the screening
programme so far.
Notes to Editors
For media enquiries or for an embargoed copy of the report
please contact the DH newsdesk on 020 7210 5221. Achieving Local
Implementation, the second annual report of the Cancer Reform
Strategy will be published on the DH website from 9:30am tomorrow
Department of Health
Phone: 020 7210 5221