Government announces cancer care improvement proposals
25 September 2007 00:00 in Medical Government/ NHS related news
The government has this week announced plans to boost cancer care in the UK through an expansion of screening programmes for bowel and breast cancer, increased access to care and reduction in waiting times.
Included in these proposals are a guaranteed appointment with a specialist within two weeks of referral for all patients experiencing breast problems, an expansion of the 62-day referral-to-treatment guarantee to allow hospital specialists to fast-track patients.
Other plans - which will be formally published in a Cancer Reform Strategy later this year - are to ensure receipt of cervical cancer screening results within two weeks and to extend the age range for breast cancer screening up from 47 to 73.
Alan Johnson, health secretary, said: "Every year, millions of people will benefit from this major expansion of screening programmes for cervical, breast and bowel cancers.
"Most importantly, those found to have cancer will have a better chance of survival."
He added that through speeding up the time taken to diagnosis and treatment, the NHS will provide an enhanced service for cancer patients that will boost care and save lives.
In June 2007, the BBC revealed that the NHS Forth Valley's Cancer Strategy report showed waiting times to be falling for cancer patients in addition to speedier test results for those found to be free of the disease.
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