12 March 2015
Responding to the Public Accounts Committee Report ‘Progress Improving Cancer Services and Outcomes in England’, Juliet Bouverie, Director of Services and Influencing at Macmillan Cancer Support, says:
“Once again we are reminded here that cancer care in England is in urgent need of improvement. While the number of people living with the disease is increasing, cancer services in this country are not keeping up and are failing to provide the support and care that people with cancer deserve.
“Cancer survival rates are improving, but this must not lead to complacency; the UK is still lagging dramatically behind the rest of Europe in ensuring that people with cancer live long and healthy lives after their diagnosis.
“At Macmillan we are glad to see a light being shone on the variation in care for older people with cancer, and wholeheartedly agree that work needs to be done to find out why this is the case, and how this can be addressed.
“We must ensure that all people with cancer are treated with dignity and respect throughout their cancer journey, and while this report goes some way to highlighting the gaps in care and support for people with cancer, it fails to acknowledge the importance of patient-centred, compassionate care. The forthcoming cancer strategy for England, which is currently in development, provides a great opportunity to ensure this is the case, and the rising number of people who are surviving cancer are supported to lead healthy and fulfilling lives after treatment.
“This report once again proves why it is absolutely vital that all main political parties include a commitment to make cancer a priority in their upcoming manifestos. This should include matching the best cancer outcomes in Europe, ensuring every person with cancer is treated with dignity and respect, and providing greater choice to people at the end of life, so that we can make serious progress, before things get worse still.”
For further information, please contact:
Cora Bauer, Media and PR Officer, Macmillan Cancer Support
0207 091 2016 (out of hours 07801 307068)
Notes to Editors:
About Macmillan Cancer Support
When you have cancer, you don’t just worry about what will happen to your body, you worry about what will happen to your life. Whether it’s concerns about who you can talk to, planning for the extra costs or what to do about work, at Macmillan we understand how a cancer diagnosis can take over everything.
That’s why we’re here. We provide support that helps people take back control of their lives. But right now, we can’t reach everyone who needs us. We need your help to make sure that people affected by cancer get the support they need to face the toughest fight of their life. No one should face cancer alone, and with your support no one will.
To get involved, call 0300 1000 200 today. And please remember, we’re here for you too. If you’d like support, information or just to chat, call us free on 0808 808 00 00 (Monday to Friday, 9am–8pm) or visit macmillan.org.uk