A Strategy for Cancer
The government has recently reviewed its approach to cancer in Improving Outcomes - A Strategy for Cancer. This replaces the Cancer Reform Strategy and aims to improve and shape the future of cancer services.
Improving Outcomes - A Strategy for Cancer
Improving Outcomes - A Strategy for Cancer was published in January 2011, following the election of the new coalition government.
It is a government document which replaces previous NHS cancer plans and sets out how the government would like to see cancer services delivered. The strategy covers the whole cancer journey; from prevention and early diagnosis through to survivorship and end of life.
The strategy is not a set of instructions. Instead it suggests what the NHS might want to consider when planning services for people living with and beyond cancer. It takes into account the new structures the government is introducing as part of major NHS reforms. These reforms include giving more power to GPs in the planning and delivery of NHS services.
Macmillan has worked with the government and other organisations to influence this new strategy. We asked for:
Every patient to have access to the best treatment and care for their cancer.
Everyone to understand information about their cancer and treatment, so they are able to make good decisions.
Everyone who has finished treatment to be supported with their ongoing needs
Every patient to receive care in high-quality cancer environments.
Every person nearing the end of their life able to die at home if they wish.
Every person to have fair access to treatments and services, regardless of gender, age, race, disability, sexual orientation, socio-economic status or type of cancer.
Key aspects of the new strategy
The government wants to improve the quality and efficiency of cancer services so that UK cancer outcomes, including survival rates, are comparable with the best in Europe.
Rather than setting targets, the new strategy focuses attention on improving certain cancer-related outcomes, such as one-year-survival rates.
To improve access to new cancer drugs, a Cancer Drug Fund will run until 2014.
Financial incentives will be offered to organisations that provide health care to encourage them to meet high quality standards.
What will Macmillan do now?
Now that the strategy has been published, Macmillan will continue to work to ensure people with cancer receive the best possible care and treatment. In particular we will:
Influence the measures for quality in the new system to ensure services and care are of the highest standard
Work with GPs to ensure that the right services and care are in place for people living with and beyond cancer
Work with the Department of Health to ensure that the NHS is working towards health and social outcomes that improve the quality of life of those with cancer.
The government held a consultation ahead of publication of the strategy. You can read Macmillan's response here or download a summary.
Find out more about Macmillan and cancer strategy in our media centre or by emailing: email@example.com