Biggest cancer crisis
Professor Pat Price, co-founder of #CatchUpWithCancer and chair of Radiotherapy UK, has been vocal in calling for urgent improvements to UK cancer services, as NHS and government plan to scrap 6 out of 9 cancer targets.
The news came shortly after NHS England stats showed 4 in 10 cancer patients are waiting too long for treatment.
Professor Price, interviewed on BBC Radio 4 Today, said: “The bottom line is, changing the targets doesn’t help patients unless we can treat them better and quicker, and that means changing treatment capacity. We’re in the biggest cancer crisis.”
Prof Price acknowledged that ‘everybody wants simpler targets that are easier for patients to understand’ but said the focus should sit squarely on investing in radiotherapy machines, using AI and upgrading software to increase capacity and productivity.
Secretary of State agrees to meet
Secretary of State for Health, Steve Barclay, also interviewed on BBC Radio 4 Today, said he would be willing to meet with Professor Price and discuss practical solutions for shortening wait times and improving outcomes for cancer patients.
Prof Price co-founded the #CatchUpWithCancer campaign when the pandemic caused huge delays in treatment for cancer patients and exposed a service stretched to the limit.
Cancer targets backlash
Plans to scrap some cancer targets, which will be confirmed soon, have received widespread media coverage.