NHS cancer services in England are at tipping point as staff fight a brave ‘rear-guard action’ to keep the services viable for cancer patients, according to a new report commissioned by Cancer Research UK and conducted by experts at the University of Birmingham and the company ICF CHK Consulting.
The research highlights a number of concerns and key challenges facing the NHS:
- A rising demand for services and a lack of capacity to respond to this demand;
- Due to the removal of the National Cancer Action Team and cancer networks, there has been a loss of leadership capacity at national and local level;
- A fragmentation of commissioning across the patient pathway;
- Wide variation in the roles and responsibilities of new NHS organisations and the need to rebuild relationships and regain expertise.
More than 1.4 million patients in England were referred by their GPs with suspected cancer in 2013-14 – a 50% increase from 2009-10. But there is no longer the capacity to respond to this demand, according to the report…
Sources and More Information:
- Measuring up? The health of NHS cancer services, Health Services Management Centre at the University of Birmingham and ICF GHK Consulting, (full 66 pages report), September 2014.
- NHS cancer services need increased investment or ‘cracks will begin to show’, Cancer Research UK press release, 8 September 2014.
- NHS cancer services struggling, says charity, BBC News, health-29107762, 8 September 2014.