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MP presses Health Secretary to intervene over cancer crisis

March 18, 2021 6:56 PM

On the floor of the House of Commons this afternoon, South Lakes MP and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Radiotherapy Tim Farron urged the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock to commit to an urgent cancer recovery plan.

Speaking during a Health statement in Parliament today, Tim said: "There was no mention of cancer in the Secretary of State's statement, nor a single penny in the Budget to boost cancer services, despite the fact that Macmillan Cancer Support's figures show the need to increase all cancer services by 110% for a solid 15 months, starting now, to clear the cancer backlog.

"Macmillan also says that there are 37,000 people with cancer who are not even in the system yet.

"Given the scale of this crisis, will the Secretary of State agree to set out an urgent, ambitious and funded plan to catch up with cancer, so that tens of thousands of people do not unnecessarily lose their lives?"

Responding, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "The need to catch up on the backlog is there across all elective operations and of course that includes those for cancer.

"The good news is that the NHS has worked incredibly hard, especially in this second peak, to make sure that cancer services have remained working and effective as much as possible. Some cancer services have in fact delivered more than their normal pre-pandemic levels of care.

"The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right that we have to make sure that any backlog is reduced-that is a critical part of what I have been talking about today."