Response to The National Cancer Equality Vision Document
The All Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer (APPGC) congratulates the National Cancer Equality Initiative (NCEI) on its excellent report, Reducing Cancer Inequality: Evidence, Progress and Making It Happen
The APPGC's Response:
We are delighted that the NCEI publication addresses so many of the issues raised in the APPGC’s own report, Tackling Cancer Inequalities, which was launched in December 2009. In particular, we are pleased that the vision:
Recognises the need for more data to be collected on cancer inequalities
Calls for targeted cancer awareness and prevention messages
Supports the development of holistic needs assessments and care planning
Values the need to deliver tailored Information Prescriptions for all cancer patients
The APPGC in its report also presented priority actions on better patient data collection, more community-based outreach projects and called for all cancer patients to have a regular assessment of their care needs. In addition, the Group is keen to see the Government deliver on its commitment to provide Information Prescriptions for all cancer patients by the end of 2010 and wants to see the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) take a more flexible approach to appraising orphan drug treatments.
The APPGC is pleased by the NCEI’s new equality metrics and the launch of the dedicated Cancer Equalities Portal that, crucially, includes existing survival rate data. The portal is a positive step towards the development of a new indictor for one-year cancer survival rates for all, which the APPGC believes is vital in the fight against cancer inequalities. We hope the Government will capitalise on the opportunity the Cancer Equalities Portal presents and take the necessary steps towards the development of the indicator.
Although cancer services have improved in the last ten years there is still clear evidence in the NCEI vision document and from the APPGC Inquiry of unacceptable inequalities in both the experiences and outcomes of cancer patients. Naturally, the APPGC is glad that so many of the NCEI’s objectives are aligned with the Group’s recommendations and we look forward to working with the initiative in the coming months and years to tackle cancer inequalities.
John Baron MP
Chair, All Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer