13 December 2011
One and five-year cancer survival rate targets must be included in the NHS Outcomes Framework for all cancers if the Government is to achieve its goal of saving 5,000 lives a year from 2014, according to a new report by the influential All Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer (APPGC).
The report, Effective Cancer Commissioning in the NHS, launched today at the Britain Against Cancer Conference, calls for the NHS Outcomes Framework to be broadened to include targets for every type of cancer, not just breast, lung and colorectal cancer.
Including one and five-year cancer survival indicators in the NHS Outcomes Framework for all cancer and ages would:
• Encourage the NHS to raise people’s awareness of the symptoms of cancer and early diagnosis of the disease;
• Encourage patients to see their GP sooner leading to more early diagnosis
• Speed up the early referral system so patients see specialists quicker, and
• Reduce the number of people – particularly people over 75 – who die unnecessarily of cancer each year
The Group is also calling for data on the stage of cancer at diagnosis and the number of patients diagnosed as an emergency to be included in the Commissioning Outcomes Framework and for Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to be incentivised to make year-on year improvements against these.
John Baron MP, APPGC Chairman, said:
‘The UK still lags behind our European neighbours in terms of cancer survival – tackling this must be a priority for the new NHS. We need to drive up improvements across the board and so the NHS Outcomes Framework should be broadened to include all cancers.
'Furthermore, additional survival indicators, such as stage of cancer at diagnosis, should be introduced to complement the existing one and five year measures. It is crucial that CCGs are held to account for their performance to ensure better outcomes and survival rates are delivered.'
The Group has also made recommendations to improve the integration of cancer services, ensure patient involvement in the NHS is meaningful and that the new public health system prioritises cancer.
For more information, please contact:
Macmillan Cancer Support, Tel 020 7840 7821
Notes to editors
The full All Party Parliamentary Group report will be available on the APPGC website from 9.00am on 13 December via www.appg-cancer.org.uk
The Commissioning Outcomes Framework (COF) will measure the health outcomes and quality of care (including patient reported outcome measures and patient experience) achieved by clinical commissioning groups. The COF will allow the NHS Commissioning Board to identify the contribution of clinical commissioning groups to achieving the priorities for health improvement in the NHS Outcomes Framework, while also being accountable to patients and local communities. It will also enable the commissioning groups to benchmark their performance and identify priorities for improvement.
The recommendations for achieving effective cancer commissioning laid out in the APPGC’s report are to:
• Ensure England’s cancer outcomes and experiences are among the best in Europe. As explained above.
• High quality integrated cancer services are commissioned. The APPGC would like CCGs to demonstrate through the authorisation process how they will collaborate with cancer networks to commissioning cancer care pathways which are joined-up across secondary, tertiary, and community care.
• The needs and wants of patients are met through meaningful involvement. The APPGC is calling for CCGs to demonstrate how they will harness the patient partnership groups and locality groups currently supported by cancer networks. This is crucial if commissioners are to develop services that are truly responsive to the needs of patients.
• Better cancer outcomes are delivered through improving our public health. Unhealthy lifestyle choices need to be tackled if lives are to be saved. CCGs and Health and Wellbeing Boards will need to work together to tackle the public health priorities in their area. To ensure this happens the APPGC is calling for pooled budgets to be supported and for every Joint Strategic Needs Assessment to include a section on the local population’s public health needs with regards to cancer