To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to increase early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.
NHS England is establishing Rapid Diagnostic Centres across the country to upgrade and bring together the latest diagnostic equipment and expertise. The centres build on the 10 models piloted through the Accelerate, Coordinate and Evaluate programme, which have focussed on diagnosing cancers where patients often present with non-specific symptoms, such as those for pancreatic cancer, and may go to their general practitioner many times before being sent for appropriate tests.
NHS England will shortly be introducing a Faster Diagnostic Standard of 28 days for all cancer patients, including those with pancreatic cancer, which when taken together with the 62-day referral to treatment standard, will mean that all patients should expect to start their treatment within 34 days of diagnosis. This is a maximum, and trusts should continue to treat patients more quickly where there is a strong clinical need.