NHS to prioritise early cancer detection and survival

detection and survival
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Cancer diagnosis will be made faster and more accurate with new technology to improve detection and survival, Matt Hancock announces

In January, the NHS Long Term Plan set the ambition for three-quarters of all cancers to be detected at an early stage and 55,000 more people surviving cancer for 5 years each year by 2028. The Implementation Framework, agreed by the NHS and laid in Parliament today, provides a blueprint for how this will be achieved at a local level. The one-year metric will be used to measure progress.

Matt Hancock said:

“Early detection and diagnosis are essential to improving a person’s chance of survival from cancer.

“Since 2010, cancer survival has improved year-on-year but, historically, our survival rates have lagged behind the best-performing countries in Europe. In our Long Term Plan for the NHS, we set out a clear ambition to resolve this – and this framework sets out a step-by-step blueprint for local leaders to make that a reality.

“I am determined that our cancer care will not be just good enough, but truly world-class and today I have set out how we will do just that.”

Steps in the framework include:

  • A radical overhaul of screening programmes;
  • New state-of-the-art technology to make diagnosis faster and more accurate
  • More investment in research and innovation;
  • The roll-out of new Rapid Diagnostic Centres across the country, building on the success of a pilot scheme with Cancer Resarch UK;
  • NHS England extending lung health checks, targeting areas with the lowest survival rates;
  • Health Education England increasing the cancer workforce, which will lead to 400 clinical endoscopists and 300 reporting radiographers by 2021.


  1. Goodness me…. poor Mr Hancock seems to have forgotten that you actually need large numbers of histopathology consultants to diagnose cancer! It’s not done by radiographers or radiologists or for that matter by endoscopists. Yes Mr Hancock it’s done by PATHOLOGISTS!

    Sadly there is an acute crisis in pathology staffing not least due to the lunacy of the pensions tax driving out senior staff and preventing younger consultants doing extra work.

    I really wonder if Mr Hancock has a scooby what a cancer diagnosis involves…I very much doubt it!


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