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More funding for cancer plan

25th February 2008

Cancer campaign organisations have warned that strategies designed to improve cancer treatment in England could be doomed to failure due to not enough funding and "a postcode lottery of services".

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The Cancer Reform Strategy was launched in 2007 and has £370m allocated in funding by 2010 to support its implementation.

As part of the plan, the approval of drugs will be fast-tracked, more funds allocated to radiotherapy care and potential legislation could be brought in for cigarette machines and sunbeds.

A coalition of 40 cancer organisations, the Cancer Campaigning Group, stated that although they approved of the general aims of the plan, they had not been convinced that plans had been implemented or new funds allocated.

Gina Coladangelo, spokesperson for the Cancer Campaigning Group, spoke to the BBC about the variation in services across trusts.

"We're concerned about how the Department of Health is going to ensure consistency and good standards across the board."

"The charities are increasingly concerned about implementation of the plan." She expressed concern about the fact there was "no timetable for the specific project plans" and "no new funding."

Ann Keen, health minister, that trusts were in the process of implementing plans "at a local level."

She added that they were giving £250 million to provide equipment for cancer care. This breaks down into £120 million allocated to digital mammography and £130 million for radiotherapy services.


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