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Thursday 27th October 2016

NHS cancer plan 'failing'

2nd November 2007

A new report by the think-tank Civitas claims the rates of avoidable deaths from cancer in England and Wales are not falling as fast as the NHS Cancer Plan predicts.


It shows that between 1999 and 2005 the decline in deaths from cancer which should have been treatable slowed year on year.

For that period, deaths from these cancers of the bowel, skin, breast, cervix, testicles and Hodgkin’s disease and leukaemia fell by 15% while avoidable deaths from heart disease fell by 34%.

But Civitas highlighted some trends in cancer deaths which it said was concerning. The five-year period 1999-2004 was the only period since 1979 in which the rate of decrease in avoidable cancer deaths has been less than in the previous one.

The cancer mortality rate in England and Wales was still higher at 25.5 per 100,000 population in 2004 than France, Austria, Sweden and Finland.

Civitas say its findings indicate that the £2bn funding in cancer services is not having an impact.

Report author James Gubb, director of the Civitas Health Unit, said that the trend was alarming given the intense focus and extra funding cancer care has received since the introduction of the NHS Cancer Plan in 2000.

However, Cancer Research UK spokesman Richard Davidson said: “The latest research shows that UK cancer mortality rates have fallen by 12% over the last decade so it would be misleading to suggest that the Cancer Plan has been ineffective.?

But he acknowledged there was still work to do.


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