Jim Cunningham (Coventry South, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the commissioning of specialised and non-specialised cancer services will not result in fragmentation of care.
Anna Soubry (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health; Broxtowe, Conservative)
Work has been undertaken to support the development of service specifications for both specialist cancer services, which will be commissioned by the NHS Commissioning Board, and those cancer services that will be commissioned by clinical commissioning groups.
To date, 15 specialist service specifications have been drafted by the Specialised Cancer Clinical Reference group for the NHS Commissioning Board. The National Cancer Action Team has also produced three advisory service specifications for Clinical Commissioning Groups in breast cancer, colorectal cancer and lung cancer. These are included in the Cancer Commissioning Toolkit.
These service specifications cover the whole cancer care pathway and will ensure that patients receive appropriate treatment and support at all stages of the patient journey.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence is continuing to build its library of Quality Standards, which will act as markers of high quality, cost-effective patient care in the NHS. Four cancer quality standards have already been published.