Bury North MP James Frith has backed a pledge by Cancer Research UK calling on the Prime Minister to develop a long-term, fully-funded plan for the cancer workforce – and has written to Boris Johnson himself asking what steps his Government will be taking to tackle cancer.
The Government has set a target to diagnose 75% of cancers at an early stage by 2028, which would save thousands of lives. However, right now, more than 1 in 10 NHS diagnostic posts are unfilled. By 2035 there will be over half a million new cancer cases each year in the UK, equivalent to one new case every minute. Thousands more staff are needed to diagnose, treat and improve cancer survival in Bury and across the country.
There are 1,100 cancer cases every year in Bury and around 490 deaths per year. Too few staff mean people affected by cancer today are stuck, waiting in a diagnostic bottle neck. Yet we know the sooner cancer is diagnosed, the sooner it can be treated and the greater the chance of survival.
“The Prime Minister and Health Secretary need to ensure that improving survival from cancer in the UK is at the top end of their to do list. Put simply, we do not have enough key NHS cancer staff in post to diagnose and treat cancer soon enough. Cancer survival rates are lower in the UK than in comparable countries. The new Government must address this, so that everyone has the best possible chance of surviving this devasting disease.”