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MP presses NHS bosses to take action to stop England sleep walking into cancer crisis

April 23, 2021 4:17 PM

This week South Lakes MP and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Radiotherapy, Tim Farron quizzed NHS England bosses on their plan to tackle the cancer backlog.

At a meeting of MPs and peers, Tim urged Dame Cally Palmer and Professor Peter Johnson from the NHS Cancer Programme to come clean about the number of patients who have missed out on treatment over the past year and to act to catch up with the treatment backlog.

Experts warn that failure to deal with the backlog of people needing cancer treatment could lead to 35,000 excess cancer deaths.

However last month the Cancer Taskforce, the body responsible for kickstarting the recovery of cancer services, was disbanded by NHS England and the Government.

Speaking after the meeting Tim said: "I'm grateful to Dame Cally Palmer and Professor Peter Johnson for meeting with us to discuss the impact of this pandemic on cancer services.

"We are sleep walking into a cancer crisis and the lack of action from the Government has left cancer clinicians and patients in shock.

"If we are to prevent thousands of unnecessary deaths then we need to be treating the cancer crisis like the vaccine roll out, with a dedicated minister put in charge alongside serious investment."