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NHS Long-Term Plan: Implementation

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:51 pm on 1st July 2019.

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Photo of Chris Bryant Chris Bryant Chair, Finance Committee (Commons) 3:51 pm, 1st July 2019

Having been diagnosed earlier this year with a stage 3B melanoma, I always get a bit sweaty when people start talking about how important it is to have early diagnosis to ensure survival rates, but of course they are absolutely right. The number of people, in particular men, with melanoma is rising and people are still dying. I have heard horrific tales of people going to GPs five, six or seven times before a GP was able to send them on to see a dermatologist. I have heard about dermatologists saying, “I’ll look at this mole here, but I’m not going to look at that one because you haven’t been referred for that one. That will have to be a separate referral.” I have heard of people waiting six or seven weeks for histopathology to come back. All those things delay the process. Do we not need to have a wholesale approach to melanoma to ensure that we save more people’s lives?