You are here

NHS to re-vamp long-term cancer care

1st December 2006

The NHS has announced it is set to improve its system of care for long-term cancer patients in the new year.

In an attempt to improve patient choice for treatments, the NHS will unveil the Cancer Reform Strategy early in 2007.

Details as to what the strategy will entail are vague, but it is thought that the publishing of cancer survival figures by hospitals could play a major role.

The move comes amid growing concern that the 2000 Cancer Plan, which has been praised for the improvements it has brought about in terms of waiting lists and access to treatment, will be unable to cope with the growing number of Britain's elderly.

Around 200,000 people are diagnosed with cancer in the UK each year but this figure is growing by 1.4 per cent per annum year as increasing numbers of people reach old age, according to a recent King's Fund report.

Cancer Research UK's chief executive, Professor Alex Markham, told the BBC that the new strategy "is vital if we are to prepare for the future challenges of cancer as the number of patients and the cost of treating them will certainly rise in the next decade."

By 2021, it is predicted that the number of over 65s in the UK will have doubled from its present figure