Cancer: Screening

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 3rd October 2019.

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Photo of Andrew Griffiths Andrew Griffiths Conservative, Burton

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that the full NHS People Plan will tackle shortages in the imaging and diagnostic workforce in order to achieve the ambition in the NHS Long Term Plan to increase cancer screening uptake.

Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Following publication of the interim People Plan on 3 June 2019, work is now underway to develop a full five-year NHS People Plan, which will support delivery of the NHS Long Term Plan. The full People Plan will build on the ambitions in the interim Plan, focusing on education and training, and new routes into the National Health Service, as well as workforce planning and redesign, and workforce productivity (releasing time for care).

Since publication of the Interim Plan, Health Education England and NHS Improvement and NHS England have been working together to ensure delivery of the immediate actions and have been working with stakeholders including the People Plan advisory group and trade unions, think tanks, academia, and professional bodies to develop the full People Plan. Work is also underway with national clinical programmes, including cancer and diagnostics, to understand their workforce priorities for delivering the Long Term Plan commitments, including addressing key workforce shortages.

Also, as part of the NHS Long Term Plan, NHS England asked Sir Mike Richards to lead a review to improve the delivery of the screening programmes, increase uptake, learn the lessons from the recent issues around breast and cervical screening, and modernise and expand diagnostic capacity. Workforce requirements to support delivery of our national screening programmes are included in scope of Professor Sir Mike Richards review and we expect publication of the report shortly. The review, will make recommendations to the Secretary of State and Board of NHS England about the future commissioning and delivery of screening programmes in England.

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