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One Cancer Voice: 12 point plan to restore and transform cancer services

COVID-19 is an unprecedented crisis which has had a profound impact on health and care services across the UK and will continue to have an impact for the months and years to come. To guide the restoration of services, 25 cancer charities have come together and developed this document to set out a ‘12-point plan’, supported by available data and intelligence, for what we believe the health service in England will need to do to enable cancer services to recover from the pandemic.

Cancer is the leading cause of death in the UK, and cancer doesn’t stop because of a pandemic. Before COVID-19 there were around 306,000 new cases of cancer in England each year, and sadly, around 135,000 deaths. Swift access to the most effective treatment remains as important as ever for survival, and ensuring someone with cancer has a personalised, holistic experience of their care remains essential for quality of life. The ambitions set out in the NHS Long Term Plan remain critical if we are to see cancer early diagnosis, survival and care in this country match that of the best performing countries.

Helen Bulbeck, Director of Services and Policy at brainstrust says:
“We are supporting this campaign because it is vital for our community. It is vital because even before the COVID-19 pandemic people with a brain tumour were facing poor survival rates and hugely compromised quality of life.  Living with a brain tumour brings challenges that are unique to our community so ensuring that the needs of these people are met as the NHS restores services is paramount. This 12 point plan gives focus where it is needed, gives reassurance that the focuses are the right ones and ensures that the needs of the brain cancer community are met. We are ensuring that a seamless supply of Dexamethasone is not interrupted in the face of COVID-19 and that there are enough supplies for everyone who benefits from this drug. We know too that delays in treatment and follow up scans cause anxiety and stress, and that regional variation in service delivery is unacceptable. This 12 point plan will help to ensure that actions are focused on restoring services so that the needs of people living with a brain tumour are met.”

Read the 12 point plan here.