To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans the Government has for the (a) timely diagnosis of and (b) deliver prompt treatment and care for people with pancreatic cancer during the covid-19 outbreak.
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 NHS is now working on the restoration and recovery of all cancer services. We are encouraging anybody with symptoms that could be indicative of cancer to contact their general practitioner (GP). GPs will continue to refer on to cancer pathways in line with National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance so that patients can be managed appropriately
NHS England and NHS Improvement have launched a public information campaign, ‘Help us to help you’, which urges the public to contact NHS services if they have a worrying symptom. The NHS will continue to repeat this message in the coming weeks.