Beating bowel cancer together

Urgent call to Government for the Comprehensive Spending Review to deliver commitments to improve cancer survival and care

Saturday 9 October 2021

We've joined together with 51 other cancer charities, as part of One Cancer Voice, to send a united message to the Prime Minister, Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, to use the upcoming Comprehensive Spending Review to urgently deliver Government commitments to improve cancer survival and care in this country.

Before COVID-19, cancer services were already under considerable strain. In England, the 62 day Cancer Waiting Time target (for patients to begin treatment following an urgent GP cancer referral) has not been met since December 2015. And with almost one in ten NHS posts vacant before the pandemic, too few cancer specialists in the NHS and insufficient kit meant we have been failing to meet patients' needs.

Tragically, the pandemic has only put further pressure on cancer services, and on patients and the lives of families dependent on those services.

As part of One Cancer Voice, we're asking the Government to urgently respond to this challenge and improve outcomes for patients in the forthcoming Spending Review by:

  • Growing the cancer workforce and investing in kit to meet patient need and drive innovation to provide better care
  • Levelling-up on cancer to address factors which mean poorer communities are hardest hit by the disease
  • Strengthening investment in cancer research and development

This investment is vital to deliver the ambitions in the NHS Long Term Plan and meet the needs of cancer patients today, and in the future, so that every patient can have a good quality of life and the best chance of survival.

Genevieve Edwards, Chief Executive of Bowel Cancer UK, says: "Bowel cancer is the UK's second biggest cancer killer, but it's treatable and curable, especially if diagnosed early.

"The NHS has worked incredibly hard to continue delivering cancer services under great strain, but if the Government are to achieve its target of diagnosing 75% of cancers at an early stage by 2028, then they must use the Comprehensive Spending Review to invest in the cancer workforce and services. By joining forces with our colleagues across the cancer sector we will champion the rights of those living with cancer now and in the future to ensure people are diagnosed at the earliest stage, and are supported to live with and beyond bowel cancer."

You can support our calls by signing this parliamentary petition calling on Government to invest urgently in the NHS cancer workforce in the autumn Spending Review: 

You can read the full letter here.

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