We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

MP leads Parliamentary debate on COVID-19’s effect on cancer services

December 4, 2020 6:52 PM

This morning, local MP Tim Farron led a debate in Parliament on access to cancer diagnosis and treatment during the COVID-19 outbreak.

During the debate, Tim said that there was a "collective gasp of disbelief across the oncology and radiotherapy sector" that the Government's Comprehensive Spending Review contained no investment for, and made no reference to, COVID-safe radiotherapy treatment.

Tim warned that a failure to invest in boosting cancer services will lead to thousands of more people having their treatment delayed and potentially losing their lives as a result.

Speaking in Westminster Hall, Tim said: "Analysis from Macmillan Cancer Support using the Government's own monthly cancer waiting times data, shows that during this pandemic, around 1,000 fewer people in South Cumbria and Lancashire will have had their first cancer treatment, compared with the same period last year.

"That is a 17% drop. It suggests that we are missing one in six people with cancer.

"There is no serious doubt what is happening to those missing people. Their cancers will have grown and spread and in so many cases become incurable by the time they are identified and by the time they are treated.

"Thousands of people out there could have lives lengthened, their lives saved, their families spared unspeakable grief if we act urgently to catch up with cancer.

"Will the minister meet with me and the expert clinicians who advise the Catch Up With Cancer campaign in the next few days to turn the tide on this crisis?"

Responding, Health minister Jo Churchill said that she is meeting the campaign in January but she would try and organise an urgent meeting for this side of Christmas.