Cancer: Diagnosis

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 18 September 2023.

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Photo of Wes Streeting Wes Streeting Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to Question 353 of the oral evidence on Cancer services given by the Minister of State for Patient Safety and Primary Care to the Health and Social Care Committee on 20 January 2022, HC 551, what progress he has made on the development of national cancer hotlines to improve the rapid diagnosis of cancer.

Photo of Will Quince Will Quince Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

Self-referral models, including cancer hotlines, are currently being considered. The Cancer Programme at NHS England has funded several local pilots to understand the feasibility and impact of self-referral mechanisms in cancer pathways. These small-scale, local pilots are at different stages of development. NHS England are in the process of gathering and analysing the data from local systems to assess the effectiveness of these interventions.

The NHS Cancer Programme continues to scope opportunities to streamline cancer pathways to support earlier and faster diagnosis of cancer, including piloting direct referral routes from community pharmacies, increasing general practice direct access to diagnostic tests and expanding the roll-out of Community Diagnostic Centres.

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