Cancer: Diagnosis

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 18th October 2021.

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Photo of Andrea Jenkyns Andrea Jenkyns Assistant Whip

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to increase the levels of cancer diagnosis in (a) the Morley and Outwood constituency and (b) England.

Photo of Maria Caulfield Maria Caulfield The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Between March 2020 and July 2021, there were 3.13 million urgent referrals and over 760,000 people receiving cancer treatment

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance is leading on improving cancer diagnosis and outcomes for its local population, including Morley and Outwood. The Alliance is working with its local system to ensure that there is sufficient diagnostic and treatment capacity in place to meet cancer needs, introducing new pathways and initiatives including Rapid Diagnostic Centres (RDCs) and the Faster Diagnosis Standard. A new test to identify people at highest risk of oesophageal cancer is also being launched across West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance. Cytosponge can be swallowed in order to detect Barrett’s Oesophagus or pre-cancerous cells in the oesophagus, as a COVID-safe alternative to endoscopy.

Public Health England and NHS England and NHS Improvement are running a campaign, ’Help us help you’ to raise awareness of general symptoms of cancer and encourage people experiencing persistent symptoms to contact their general practitioner. in 2021/22 to tackle the elective backlog, from which cancer patients will benefit. This is being supported by £325 million of investment in National Health Service diagnostics. In July 2021, the NHS announced a further £20 million for Cancer Alliances to accelerate cancer diagnosis and enable management of high referral volumes. NHS England and NHS Improvement are prioritising delivery of NHS Long Term Plan commitments such as increasing diagnostic capacity and early diagnosis and survival rates through RDCs. As of June 2021, there were 102 RDCs across hospitals in England, compared to 12 in March 2020.

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