Love Hope Strength Foundation attended the annual Britain Against Cancer conference recently, hosted by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer (APPG). Founded in 1998 to keep cancer at the top of the political agenda, the APPG brings together MPs and Peers to help improve cancer services. The conference provides an exciting opportunity for policy experts, decision makers, patients, health professionals and the third sector to discuss the most pressing issues in cancer policy today.
This year’s theme was The new NHS – a better outcome for cancer patients? The theme was chosen as 2012 is a year of transition for the NHS, new commissioning structures evolving and the Health & Social Care Act has been passed,
Each year, the conference provides the opportunity to hear and pose questions to key decision makers behind reforms and health opinion formers. Conference speakers included the Secretary of State for Health (Jeremy Hunt MP), Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Health (Andy Burnham MP) and former National Cancer Director Professor Sir Mike Richards, who is now the NHS Commissioning Board representative responsible for reducing premature mortality.
The APPG Chair, John Baron MP, started the event and concluded that 2012 has been a year of transition for the NHS, then 2013 needs to be about delivery.
Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Health, Andy Burnham MP, spoke about the Government’s recent announcements on research, screening, increasing radiotherapy capacity and research on rarer cancers.
Professor Sir Mike Richards was the National Cancer Director at the Department of Health between 1999 and 2012, and has been promoted to the NHS Commissioning Board. He highlighted a number of key challenges and next steps for cancer policy, such as pooling all cancer data in one database.
Jeremy Hunt wanted to make England’s cancer survival rates among the best in the world, and to ensure that people are aware of the signs and symptoms of cancer, that it is diagnosed earlier, and that all patients get the best treatment.
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