To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the evidential basis was for his Department's target of diagnosing 75 per cent of cancers at stage one or stage two by 2028 and if he made an assessment of the feasibility of setting that target at 2025.
The NHS Long Term Plan included an ambition that 55,000 more people who are diagnosed with cancer in 2028 will survive for five years. Early diagnosis is a major determinant of cancer survival and NHS England have deliberately set the early diagnosis ambition – to diagnose 75% of cancers at stage 1 and 2 by 2028 - at a level which, under most scenarios, would be more than sufficient to meet the survival ambition. During the development of the plan, clinicians and stakeholders agreed that we should set a stretching ambition to ensure we improve the rate of diagnosis across all cancers, so many more people will survive.
The NHS Long Term Plan sets out a number of key steps to achieve this ambition, including through raising greater awareness of symptoms of cancer, accelerating access to diagnosis and treatment and maximising the number of cancers that we identify through screening. Meeting this ambition will also require the National Health Service to harness new technological advances to target at risk patients more effectively; directing our research and innovation effort to the areas where the data tells us we can have the biggest impact; and mobilising the NHS so that we can adopt proven new approaches more quickly.