Eltham MP Clive Efford met with people affected by cancer at Macmillan Question Time in Parliament last week where he heard first-hand about their experiences, and why the Government needs to prioritise improvements to cancer care. The event itself was a chance for people affected by cancer to share their concerns and use their experiences to question a panel of politicians at the highest level.

Speaking on the subject, Clive said “Listening to the views of cancer patients and their carers is essential in delivering the best possible care and experience. The debate at Macmillan Question Time highlighted the great progress we’ve made in cancer care, but also showed that much more must be done to actively respond to and address the increasing needs of cancer patients.”

I am extremely concerned about the postcode lottery patients with cancer are having to face.

Thousands of people are dying early of cancer every year because of delays and differences in how the NHS diagnoses and treats cancer.

Delays in treatment mean that cancer patients in some areas of England have up to a 61% higher risk of dying within a year of their diagnosis than those in other places, simply because of where they live.

MacMillan has calculated that around 6,000 more people a year would still be alive 12 months after being diagnosed if average survival across England could be made as good as that already achieved by the top 10% of England’s 211 local CCGs.

I am extremely concerned about the increasing fracturing of NHS services with private companies being allowed to cherry pick the most profitable parts of the NHS.  This leaves the NHS to deal with the most difficult care and treatment at a time when their resources are being stretched to the limit.

This means that the NHS is finding it more and more difficult to introduce the change needed to tackle issues like this.

I will be doing everything I can to ensure the Government fully fund and implement the Cancer Strategy and the recommendations in the Choice Review through this year’s Comprehensive Spending Review.

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