The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Blood Cancer is today (Wednesday 15 March) launching an inquiry into blood cancer care in the NHS. The inquiry, the first undertaken by the APPG, will look at all aspects of blood cancer, including awareness, diagnosis, patient experience, commissioning of services and clinical research.
Blood cancer is a complex and often misunderstood disease area. There are many differences in the patient journey in comparison to those of other cancers, and this inquiry will seek to understand more about the care patients are receiving, identify areas of best practice and recommend where improvements are required.
The inquiry will look at five areas of care identified as priorities in the Independent Cancer Taskforce’s Achieving World-Class Cancer Outcomes: A Strategy for England 2015-2020, and will seek to identify what services patients require, where their needs are currently being met, and where services need to be extended or amended to account for the specific needs of blood cancer patients.
The inquiry will gain expert opinion from patients, clinicians, researchers and NHS staff, summarising findings and recommendations in a report to be published later this year.
The APPG invites written evidence from stakeholders including patients, carers, patient organisations, and all those involved in delivering blood cancer care covering the following areas:
- Public awareness and early diagnosis
- Patient experience
- Living with and beyond blood cancer
- Access to medicines and support for research
- NHS commissioning
Henry Smith MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Blood Cancer said:
“Blood cancers are the third biggest cancer killer in the UK, and the fifth most common cancer overall, yet awareness among the general public and policy audiences is still low. We need to make sure that NHS provision meets the needs of all cancer patients, especially in those areas like blood cancer where the patient journey differs from the majority of solid tumour cancers.
“We have a deliberately wide remit for this inquiry, the first of the APPG on Blood Cancer – this inquiry and subsequent report will provide a valuable overview of the blood cancer landscape, and I’m sure it will raise several issues that the APPG will want to explore in more detail in future inquiries.”
To mark the launch of the inquiry Henry Smith MP also wrote an article for PoliticsHome.
The inquiry is inviting written reponses from organisations and individuals with expertise in, or experience of, blood cancer, including patients, clinicians, commissioners, health bodies and others. For more informatin and to respond please download the Terms of Reference.
To maximise the stakeholder engagement the inquiry is also inviting responses via an online form.
While the APPG on Blood Cancer is a cross-UK group, health services are devolved to each of the nations. Though the inquiry will focus on the implementation of the Cancer Strategy for England, the group is keen to learn from examples of good practice in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and would therefore encourage stakeholders in the devolved nations to contribute to the inquiry.
The APPG on Blood Cancer will also hold oral evidence sessions which are currently being finalised and will be announced soon.
For further information about the APPG on Blood Cancer please visit here.