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Cancer Targets — [Mr Gary Streeter in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 2:30 pm on 1st May 2018.

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Photo of John Baron John Baron Conservative, Basildon and Billericay 2:30 pm, 1st May 2018

I completely agree. The problem as I understand it is that, according to the House of Commons Library, there are something like nine process targets focused on cancer alone. Briefly, it is an inconvenient truth that, if we look back over the past 20 or 30 years, we will see that the NHS has been beset by process targets from both sides and for the best of reasons. The bottom line is that we have not caught up with international averages in any meaningful way over those 20 to 30 years, so we must start to question the efficacy of those process targets when what we are trying to do is to improve survival rates. If we get the NHS focused on one-year survival rates, it should look at the journey as a whole, not just a small part of it, in trying to promote initiatives to encourage earlier diagnosis, which at the end of the day is what we all have to do if we are to improve survival rates.