Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:25 am on 11th July 2019.

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Photo of Chris Bryant Chris Bryant Chair, Finance Committee (Commons) 11:25 am, 11th July 2019

Six months ago today, I visited my GP with a small mole on the back of my head. I was very fortunate that the GP passed me straight on to the dermatologist and everything happened quickly, but since then I have met dozens and dozens of people for whom the most galling thing about their cancer diagnosis is being told that is quite late—stage 3 or 4. I have met young women who have lost their mother, including one last week who was still in tears, because she felt that if only the diagnosis had been faster, they would have been able to save her life. Yet 97% of pathology units in England say that they are understaffed, we have about 600 too few dermatologists in the country, and in Wales we have 22 consultant pathologist posts empty. How can we make sure that we save people’s lives if we do not have enough staff? Can we have a debate on this?