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MP tells Prime Minister to intervene to tackle the cancer backlog

November 6, 2020 9:46 PM

On the floor of the House of Commons this week, local MP Tim Farron urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to tackle the enormous cancer treatment backlog caused by the COVID-19 crisis.

Speaking in Parliament, Tim said: "Does the Prime Minister accept that we need to learn some serious lessons from the first lockdown, particularly about the impact on cancer patients?

"There was a 100,000 backlog when it came to treatment and diagnosis at one point. Cancer Research UK estimates that 35,000 people might unnecessarily lose their lives to cancer because of wrong decisions.

"Will he accept that, while there are many hospitals that are, shall I say, clean sites, where COVID is not being treated or is not present, there is an opportunity to use those sites to treat cancer patients, catch up with cancer, save those lives and not make the same mistakes as we did first time?"

In response, the Prime Minister said: "The hon. Gentleman is exactly right and has encapsulated the argument that we make.

"My right hon. Friend the Health Secretary and I have talked repeatedly to Simon Stevens of the NHS and his teams about making sure that throughout this period, we continue to look after cancer patients - those who ​need the decisive care that the NHS can provide.

"I do believe that this approach - these regulations - are the way that we can do that."