The Department of Health (DoH) has announced that by 2020, NHS patients with suspected cancer with receive a diagnosis within 28 days of being referred to a specialist by a GP.
The Independent Cancer Taskforce – set up as part of the NHS’s Five-Year Forward View, to examine how to improve cancer care and survival rates – says the target to diagnose all suspected cancer cases within 28 days could help save up to 11,000 lives a year.
Under the plans, around 20,000 additional people a year will have their cancers genetically tested to identify the most effective treatments, to reduce unnecessary chemotherapy sessions – and by 2020, patients will be able to access online information about their treatment and tests results.
Cancer patients will also have access to physical activity programmes, psychological support and practical advice about returning to work – as well as help for those suffering with depression, to make sure they have the right care at the right time.
By 2017, there will be a new national quality-of-life measure, to help monitor how well people live after their cancer treatment has ended, so that priorities for improvements can be identified.
The DoH says the government has committed up to £300 million more in funding for cancer diagnostics every year over the next five years, to help meet the new 28-day target.
Health Education England will also launch a new national training programme to provide 200 additional staff with the skills and expertise to carry out endoscopies by 2018. Endoscopies are vital internal examinations to diagnose cancer. Newly-trained staff will be able to carry out nearly half-a- million more endoscopy tests on the NHS by 2020, says the DoH.
The NHS has already committed to train an additional 250 gastroenterologists by 2020.
The Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt said:
“For people who are worried they may have cancer, waiting for that all important test result is a nerve-wracking time.
“We have a duty to make sure this period of uncertainty is as short as possible. For those who get the all clear, they will have peace of mind sooner.
“Those who sadly have cancer will get treatment much quicker – and we will save thousands of lives as a result.”
Mr Hunt also announced new measures to develop a tailored recovery package for everyone surviving cancer – including a more personalised treatment plan and better support to “live well, with and beyond the disease”.
Chair of the Independent Cancer Taskforce, Harpal Kumar, said:
“These commitments are going to save thousands of lives – and deliver a step change in patient experience and quality of life, so this is fantastic news.
“Diagnosing more cancers earlier could transform patients’ lives, as it improves survival.
“But we’ve shown that services for diagnosing cancer are under immense pressure – which is why increased investment and extra staff are so important.”
Duncan Lewis Clinical Negligence Solicitors – No win no fee Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims
Duncan Lewis can advise NHS and private healthcare patients whose cancer was misdiagnosed on how to make a no win no fee claim for compensation, including cancer misdiagnosis claims relating to:
• A&E errors and misdiagnosis
• Cancer surgery errors
• Chemotherapy errors
• Delays in diagnosing cancer
• Dentists’ failure to diagnose oral cancer
• Failure to diagnose cancer
• Failure to treat cancer
• GP failure to refer
• Pain relief negligence
• Poor personal care in hospital
• Prescribing errors
• Unnecessary cancer treatment/surgery
• Wrong cancer treatment.
Cancer misdiagnosis claims usually have to be made within three years of the date misdiagnosis became evident. Children can make cancer misdiagnosis claims up to the age of 21.
For expert legal advice on no win no fee Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims, call Duncan Lewis clinical negligence solicitors on 020 7923 4020.