Britain Against Cancer 2011
The 13th annual Britain Against Cancer conference, hosted by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer (APPGC), took place on 13 December in Central Hall, Westminster.
The conference provided an exciting opportunity for policy experts, decision makers, patients, health professionals and the third sector to discuss the most pressing issues in cancer policy today. This year’s conference focused on the theme of Achieving quality: Getting cancer services right in the new NHS.
Achieving Quality: Getting cancer services right in new NHS
John Baron MP, launched Effective Cancer Commissioning in the New NHS.
In the morning session, delegates heard from the chairman of the APPGC, John Baron MP, who launched the report Effective Cancer Commissioning in the New NHS [PDF]. He set out the challenges and opportunities the reforms will have on commissioning of cancer care and services and outlined the APPGC’s key recommendations on how to ensure effective commissioning of cancer services in the new NHS.
View John Baron’s presentation [PDF].
John also asked conference delegates to vote on what they think the Government should prioritise to ensure that the new NHS delivers for cancer patients. Choosing between:
Encourage earlier diagnosis by measuring the performance of Clinical Commissioning Groups on one and five-year survival rates and proxy indicators such as stage of cancer at diagnosis
Ensuring effective collaboration between CCGs and Cancer Networks
Meaningful patient involvement in the whole commissioning cycle
Pooled budgets to support and encourage CCGs and Health and Wellbeing Boards to share responsibility for delivering public health improvements.
The majority of delegates believed that encouraging earlier diagnosis and effective collaboration should be the Government’s top priorities.
Andrew Lansley makes new policy announcements.
Conference delegates also heard from and posed their questions to high profile speakers including: the Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley MP; the Shadow Secretary State for Health, Andy Burnham MP; the National Cancer Director, Professor Sir Mike Richards, the Chair of the NHS Future Forum, Professor Steve Field; and President of the Association of Directors of Public Health, Dr Frank Atherton.
The Health Secretary used the opportunity to outline the progress made in the last year against the 5 domains in the NHS Outcomes Framework and highlighted the important role cancer networks will play in the new NHS. In his speech, he stressed the importance of prevention and early diagnosis including the need to invest in research and treatment for cancer patients. At the conference, he announced that the Government would be taking plans forward for a national proton beam therapy service capable of treating 1500 patients a year. This would put the UK at the forefront of developments in this technology.
The discussion panel.
The Shadow Secretary of State for Health outlined the areas where they agreed with the Coalition Government on the treatment of people with cancer, especially on areas such as the life sciences strategy, essential regulation and the continued support for Cancer Networks.
During the panel discussion the National Cancer Director, Professor Sir Mike Richards, gave a presentation on the progress made this year on implementation of the Cancer Strategy and the priorities for 2012.
Chair of the NHS Future Forum, Professor Steve Field discussed the work of the NHS Future Forum and highlighted the importance of ensuring that patients were at the heart of all treatment decisions. President of the Association of Directors of Public Health, Dr Frank Atherton, presented to delegates, the challenges and opportunities the health reforms pose to the public health agenda and the role Health and Wellbeing Boards will play in the new NHS.
In 2012, the group will be looking to work in partnership with Government and other relevant organisations to build support for our recommendations set out in the new report.
The All Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer would like to thank the supporters of the Britain Against Cancer 2011 Conference. All have a medical expertise and commercial interest in cancer, but had no involvement in the programme of the conference:
AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, Sanofi-Aventis, Sanofi-Pasteur MSD.