This week the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer (APPGC), Parliamentarians, and the Chief Executives of 40 cancer charities, including Bloodwise, joined forces in writing to all Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in England to highlight the important role they have in improving one-year cancer survival rates, and to offer support in helping to achieve this.
Introduced in 2013, CCGs are responsible for commissioning NHS services in their local area.All GP practices are members of their local CCG.
The best way to improve survival rates of most cancers is to diagnose cancer them earlier. The NHS’ performance at detecting cancer early can be measured by looking at how many people survive for over one year following their cancer diagnosis. In England, the current one year survival rate is 70.4%, whereas the latest comparable data for Sweden shows that their one year survival rate is 81%.
John Baron MP, Chairman of the APPGC, said: “If we are going to improve cancer survival rates, we must improve early diagnosis. By writing to CCGs we hope to further raise awareness of this issue, and encourage them to drive forward improvements so that thousands more people are able to survive cancer.”
“We have also written to offer our support as we are conscious that CCGs do not have responsibility for broad national issues, such as the workforce. The APPGC’s summer Parliamentary reception, which recognises the 20 CCGs which have most improved their one-year figures, presents a further opportunity to engage.”
The APPGC has long campaigned to ensure that CCGs are accountable for improving their local one year survival rates. This could be achieved by initiatives including improved public awareness, better screening uptake, further training, better diagnostic tools for GPs to encourage timely referrals, and working with Cancer Alliances to implement the recommendations of the England Cancer Strategy on early diagnosis.