New Cancer Strategy for England published

The report, “Achieving world-class cancer outcomes: a strategy for England 2015-2020”, has just been published and has been widely welcomed by many in the cancer communities, including Cancer52.

In January 2015, The Independent Cancer Taskforce1 was set up to develop a five-year strategy for cancer services.  The report is the result of responses to a Call for Evidence,  outputs from 30 workshops, discussions within the taskforce itself, and wider engagement with patients and the broader health community.  Recommendations for a new cancer strategy for England are given, with six strategic priorities set out.  Briefly the priorities are:

  • A radical upgrade in prevention and public health.
  • A national ambition to achieve earlier diagnosis.
  • Patient experience on a par with clinical effectiveness and safety.
  • Transformation in support for people living with and beyond cancer.
  • Investment to delivery a modern high-quality service.
  • Overhauled processes for commissioning, accountability and provision.

The report has been welcomed with comments and statements from many of those within the cancer community. Clara Mackay, deputy director of Cancer52, the alliance of 80+ of the UK’s rare and less common cancer organisations, who was also a member of the Taskforce, said:

“There is much to be welcomed in this strategy for all those affected by cancer. However, for rare and less common cancers the underlying principle that no two patients are the same, either in their cancer or their needs, marks a hugely positive change in approach. I am extremely optimistic about the impact that implementation of the recommendations set out in this strategy will have on the experience of rare and less common cancer patients right from diagnosis through to treatment and support.”

In support of those representing the rarer cancers communities, Jonathan Pearce, Chair of Cancer52, has commented:

“We welcome this new strategy and, in particular, the new acknowledgement that for people with rare and less common cancers one size does not fit all.

“As an alliance of more than 80 charities working in the field of rare and less common cancers, Cancer52 occupies a unique role in the cancer community, and this role was acknowledged with the inclusion of board member Clara Mackay within the Taskforce advisory board.

 “We now look forward to remaining closely involved with the next stages, the implementation and oversight of the delivery of the strategy.”

The Taskforce has recommended that a National Cancer Team (NCT) should now oversee the delivery of the Strategy.

More information:

“Achieving world-class cancer outcomes: a strategy for England 2015-2020” – to read the report in full click here

To read Cancer Research UK’s press release, click here

To read Cancer Research UK’s Executive Summary, click here


1 The Independent Cancer Taskforce was established by NHS England on behalf of the Care Quality Commission, Health Education England, Monitor, Public Health England, NICE and the Trust Development Authority. Cancer Research UK’s Chief Executive, Harpal Kumar acted as the independent Chair of the Cancer Taskforce, and Cancer Research UK also supported the work of the Taskforce by providing expert input and Secretariat support.

Taskforce Members:

  • Harpal Kumar – Chair
  • Shafi Ahmed – Royal College of Surgeons
  • Jane Allberry – Department of Health
  • Maureen Baker – Royal College of GPs
  • Juliet Bouverie – Macmillan Cancer Support
  • Adrian Crellin – Radiotherapy Clinical Reference Group
  • Sean Duffy – NHS England
  • Kevin Hardy – St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Anne-Marie Houlder – NHS Stafford and Surrounds CCG
  • Liz Hughes – Health Education England
  • John Newton – Public Health England
  • Clara Mackay – Cancer 52
  • Kathy McLean – NHS Trust Development Authority
  • Catherine Oakley – UK Oncology Nursing Society
  • Cally Palmer – Royal Marsden
  • Martin Reeves – Coventry City Council
  • Mike Richards – Care Quality Commission
  • Richard Stephens – Patient Representative
  • Sarah Woolnough – Cancer Research UK

2 Cancer52 represents 80 predominantly small cancer charities united by their vision of seeing a better future for everyone affected by the rare and less common cancers,  which account for more than half of all cancer deaths in the UK Cancer52’s aim is to promote improved diagnosis, treatment and support for those affected by rare and less common cancers, leading to improved QOL and increased survival.

Cancer52’s objectives are to unify and empower its member organisation; use its unique membership structure to capture the patient voice of those with rare and less common cancers; take that voice on to those bodies and individuals who influence cancer policy, science, clinical outputs, services, and treatment.

July 2015