Health Secretary agrees to meet with MP over predicted cancer deaths caused by COVID-19 treatment delays
On the floor of the House of Commons this week, South Lakes MP and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Radiotherapy Tim Farron urged ministers to expand cancer radiotherapy services to save lives during the COVID-19 crisis.
It comes as Panorama revealed that tens of thousands of patients in the UK may die this year due to treatment delays caused by the pandemic.
Speaking during a Health statement in Parliament, Tim said: "Last night's "Panorama" programme showed the awful truth that we could lose more people to cancer due to delayed treatments and interventions than we do to COVID-19 itself.
"We know we can avoid that tragedy in a number of ways, one of which is to expand the operation and to bring forward the implementation of advanced radiotherapy around the country-this summer, especially-to clear the backlog and to give people hope.
"That should include delivery close to home in places such as Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal.
"Will the Secretary of State meet the all-party parliamentary group on radiotherapy to discuss our six-point plan to help give people hope and to save lives immediately and in the long-term?"
In response Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he was "very happy to meet" with Tim and the all-party group and hear their suggestions about to clear the cancer backlog created by the COVID-19 crisis.