Programme News

Wednesday 14th July 2010
Equality and Excellence: Liberating the NHS (July 2010) - Key Challenges for Cancer

On July 13th at 'Spreading the Winning Principles' Annual National Transforming Inpatient Care Conference was held in London, and attended by NTP Programme Manager Laura Stapleton. The programme for this event included a presentation from Sir Mike Richards (National Clinical Director for Cancer and End of Life Care) who provided a summary overview from the published Government White paper of key challenges for cancer as follows:

1.Rising Incidence
Incidence of cancer is rising by about 1.5% pa, aging population, indication that 50% of all cancers could be prevented by adopting healthier lifestyles (smoking, drinking, diet).

2.Poor Survival
UK has a poor 1 year survival rate due to late diagnosis, how to change to earlier diagnosis?
Potentially 10,000 lives pa could be saved with implementation of extensive changes.

3.High Mortality
Cancer mortality in UK is worse than EU average, particularly in over 75 age groups.
Challenges: Undertreatment, or late diagnosis?

4/5 Increasing Previlance and Suboptimal Quality of Life
Previlance is rising by 3% pa, could rise to 4% pa by 2030
Challenges: Little is known about the QOL for survivors

6.Inequalities in Cancer
Challenges: Incidence, Survival, Mortality, Early/Late diagnosis, treatment and care
Race, age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and social deprevation.

7.Slow Diffusion of Technologies
Diagnostics, late introductions
Surgical Innovations: LAPCO acknowleged as a leader/success in this section

8.Managing Overall Expenditure
£5bn pa is spent on Cancer in England
Drugs account for 20% of total expenditure
Inpatient care is largest single component, with more 'bed days' for patients than other countries.
Challenges: Focus is on reducing emergency admissions and Lenght of Stay (23 hour stays, use of day care units)
Overall approach with implementation of Enhanced Recovery Programme, Acute Oncology.

Sir Mike Richards confirmed that a National Review of the Cancer Reform Strategy (CRS) has been commissioned by Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley MP, and Minister of State for Care Services, Paul Burstow MP.  In addition to focussing on outcomes, the review will set the future direction for cancer services based on the ambitions set out in the White Paper. It is aimed to publish a review of the report in the Winter 2010, and comments can be emailed to

View: Gateway Letter from Mike Richards to Stakeholders

View: White Paper: Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS (July 2010)