Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:10 pm on 18th November 2020.

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Photo of Tim Farron Tim Farron Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Housing, Communities and Local Government) 4:10 pm, 18th November 2020

I very much appreciate the Minister’s work in this area. She will have seen that leading clinicians think it will take five years for us to catch up with the cancer backlog. Indeed, Cancer Research UK has recognised that there have been 35,000 avoidable deaths from cancer over this period. Only very recently, there was an awful figure in an article in The BMJ saying that there have been 60,000 lost life years as a consequence of cancer during this period. I absolutely acknowledge that progress is being made when it comes to diagnostics; I am less convinced that progress is being made when it comes to treatment. Will she confirm whether her Department is making an urgent bid for spending review funding for smart radiotherapy, for delivery at satellite sites and for digital technology, to ensure that we clear the backlog, save lives and catch up with cancer?