Pancreatic Cancer Action is one of more than 50 charities that urged Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss to take bold action to improve cancer survival and outcomes in the UK. The call comes to drive forward change in patients, practitioners and researchers to deliver on the promised world-leading cancer outcomes for families in this country.
In both MP’s promises as part of their leadership campaign, health care, the NHS, and cancer have been notable absences. On this, Pancreatic Cancer Action’s Health Policy & Project Manager, Joe Kirwin, said: ‘It’s incredibly disappointing that the issue of healthcare, the NHS nor reducing cancer rates has been mentioned by any of the Conservative MPs vying to be the next Prime Minister.’
‘Big problems, such as the record high waiting times, chronic workforce shortages, and the inability for many to simply get an appointment with their GP have been overlooked. Sadly, cancer won’t wait, so we desperately need Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss to have the NHS and cancer at the top of their agenda and recommit to the 10–Year Cancer Plan.’
The 10–Year Cancer Plan was originally meant to be published this July. However, this has since been put on hold due to Boris Johnson’s resignation and the Conservative Party leadership race. As part of the One Cancer Voice coalition, we call on both MPs to recommit to the publication of the plan and to work with all the charities to ensure it is:
Fit for the future, fit for patients
This plan must set bold and stretching targets to achieve what really matters to people affected by cancer in the next decade, for example, by ensuring 78% of people are diagnosed at stage one or stage two, and a 95% Faster Diagnosis Standard is met.
Visionary and achievable
A transformative plan will harness the power of the UK’s world-beating research and innovation to improve outcomes, and patient experience and tackle health inequalities head-on. It would publicly announce objectives, set timelines and match them with smart investment, helping to boost the economy.
A roadmap to solve cancer staff shortages
The plan must set out targeted funding to grow the cancer workforce to meet current and future demand, tackle backlogs, make more time for patients, and drive innovation. It needs robust workforce modelling for the plan’s lifetime, matched by investment for at least the lifetime of the current Spending Review.
As with the rest of the One Cancer Voice coalition, we hope that Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss accept our request for a meeting to allow us to share our evidence and expertise and help them seize this opportunity to make the next 10 years transformative ones for cancer care.
Every day, 29 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and 26 die from it. This number will rise if no change is made to control tobacco use in England.