NHS Blood Cancer Care

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:38 pm on 17th January 2018.

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Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care 3:38 pm, 17th January 2018

I thank the hon. Member for Central Ayrshire for that point. I might have to come back to her on it, so that—as is only fair, and bearing in mind the Chair’s point—I am able to cover some of the other points that Members raised in their speeches.

My hon. Friend the Member for Crawley said that he would be sending a copy of his report to his local CCG, and I would echo his call for MPs from England who are in the debate today to do the same. MP and CCG relationships are very important to implementing the cancer strategy and reports such as this one. I have the mobile numbers of my local CCG lead and CCG chair in my phone, and I did long before I was a Minister. How many other Members, not only in this Chamber, but in the House, have that? It is a key relationship and Members have a role to play.

Colleen Fletcher spoke very well, as always, with her personal testimony. She calls for five-year plans for patients who have had a stem cell transplant. As I said, the recovery package is a personalised care plan for all cancer patients, and if the care team feel that a five-year plan is appropriate, I expect it to be considered and, if appropriate, commissioned.

Jim Shannon, who has left his place, spoke, as always, in an informed contribution full of personal testimony. I will say that cancer survival rates in England have never been higher. If we can help his colleagues in the Northern Ireland Assembly, when that is back on its feet, I would be delighted. If he wants to set up a meeting, I would be delighted to attend.

I need to close because I know, Mr Wilson, that you want to move on to the proposer of the debate. I hope that my hon. Friend will agree that implementation of the strategy is already beginning to transform services and to implement a number of the recommendations in his report, which is an excellent piece of work. Next week I will be meeting Bloodwise, which I know has representatives here today and does excellent work with his all-party group, to discuss further the important issues that Members have raised today. Next month I will be having the second of my big cancer roundtables, which this time will be joined by Cally Palmer, who is NHS England’s national cancer director. That is a great chance for me to bring all the cancer charities together.

I thank my hon. Friend for bringing the report to Westminster Hall today and wish him well with its launch in a few minutes’ time.