Gastrointestinal Cancer

House of Lords written question – answered on 29th July 2014.

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Photo of Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Shadow Spokesperson (Health), Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Lords

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the current National Health Service ability to meet the needs of paediatric, adolescent, wild-type and syndromic gastrointestinal stromal tumour cancer patients.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will develop a National Service Framework for paediatric, adolescent, wild-type and syndromic gastrointestinal stromal tumour cancer patients.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what information is made available to patients about paediatric, adolescent, wild-type and syndromic gastrointestinal stromal tumours.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what their assessment is of the treatment available for paediatric, adolescent, wild-type and syndromic gastrointestinal stromal tumour cancer patients.

Photo of Earl Howe Earl Howe The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

This Government wants England to lead the world in tackling cancer and ensure the National Health Service is able to meet the needs of all cancer patients. That is why our 2011 Cancer Outcomes Strategy set the ambition to save a further 5,000 lives a year from cancer by 2014-15. The Strategy is backed with more than £750 million over the four year Spending Review period (2011-12 to 2014-15).

A number of treatments have been recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for the treatment of gastrointestinal stromal tumour (GIST) including the paediatric, adolescent, wild-type and syndromic (PAWS) sub-variants.

NHS commissioners are legally required to fund treatments recommended by NICE in its technology appraisal guidance. NICE regularly reviews its guidance to take into account new evidence.

Treatment for PAWS GIST is commissioned through NHS England’s Specialised Services. Treatment for individuals is managed through multi-disciplinary teams. GIST Support UK have in partnership with Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge, established a PAWS-GIST clinic that is led by Dr Bulusu working with a United Kingdom national alliance of doctors. NHS England, through its Children’s Cancer and Sarcoma Clinical Reference Groups, is monitoring the clinic as it develops and progresses.

We know how important it is for patients to receive the information they need and a range of initiatives have been used in the NHS, such as information prescriptions, advanced communications training and support for clinical nurse specialists.

NICE guidance on improving outcomes in children and young people with cancer also emphasises the importance of providing patients, families and carers with the information they need.

NHS England has no plans to develop a National Service Framework for paediatric, adolescent, wild-type and syndromic gastrointestinal stromal tumour.

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