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Report highlights cancer care improvement areas

14th May 2007

A report exploring how cancer care can be improved has been released on behalf of the NHS.

Mike Richards, the author of the report, claims that the NHS must continue to change if it is to deliver better cancer care.

He also highlighted the successes of care, namely, that mortality rates in the under 75s have fallen by 16 per cent, that there has been a 49 per cent increase in cancer specialists and £520 million has been invested in new and replacement specialist equipment.

There has also been a tripling of the number of patients entering clinical trials in recent years.

However, there is a need for better coordination of individuals' care and a centralisation of services to develop expertise, at the same time as moving simple services closer to patients.

Mike Richards said: "My report shows that some treatment and care needs to be concentrated in specialist centres so that clinicians with the right skills, experience and equipment are available to treat patients with complex needs safely.

"At the same time, medical technology is also making it possible to treat many patients closer to home, for example, simple chemotherapy is now given in district hospitals rather than specialist centres."