To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of on patients of the pause in pancreatic cancer surgery during the covid-19 outbreak; and what steps he is taking to reduce the waiting list for pancreatic cancer surgery.
On 8 June 2020, the National Cancer Director and the National Clinical Director for Cancer issued a further letter of guidance to National Health Service cancer services on ‘Second phase of NHS response to COVID-19 for cancer services’. The letter notes that the work for local systems and Cancer Alliances to identify ring-fenced diagnostic and surgical capacity for cancer should now be well advanced, so that referrals, diagnostics and treatment can be brought back to pre-pandemic levels at the earliest opportunity to minimise potential harm, and to reduce the scale of the post-pandemic surge in demand. The new guidance is based on three key principles: capacity, fairness and confidence. Cancer Alliances should work with their regional teams to provide such services.