UK DH Announces Cancer Reform Strategy Board

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The board members who are advising on the development of the new Cancer Reform Strategy were announced. Appointed by Health Minister Rosie Winterton, the board's membership is drawn from experts across the cancer field including chief executives of major charities, cancer patients, social care and NHS clinicians and managers.

An enormous amount has been achieved following the publication of the first Cancer Plan in 2000 and the Cancer Reform Strategy will build on that. In addition it will recognise the new challenges and opportunities facing cancer, such as more people living with cancer, advances in cancer treatments and rising expectations amongst the public.

Six new working groups of experts are being set up to develop specific areas of the new strategy including:

  • improving the experience of cancer patients

  • achieving value for money for the NHS and the taxpayer

  • making sure that the public are more aware of the risk factors and symptoms of cancer.

A description of each group and chairs is in the notes to editors.

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Through the advisory board, the new working groups and existing advisory groups there will be over 250 cancer experts advising directly on the development of the strategy. We aim to publish the Strategy by the end of the year.

Rosie Winterton said:

"I would like to thank everyone who is working on this strategy, especially representatives of major charities and patients. I am sure that by working together, we can produce a strategy which will set a high bar for cancer services over the next five years."

Mike Richards said:

"This is an exciting and challenging task and I am delighted to have people with such a wealth of knowledge and experience working with me on the development of the strategy. We have come a long way since the first Cancer Plan was published in 2000. Death rates are falling, survival rates are improving and patients report that their experience of care is improving. We now need to build on the foundations of the Cancer Plan to meet the new challenges we now face."

Joanne Rule, Chief Executive of Cancerbackup said:

"I am delighted that patient groups and charities are so strongly involved in forming the Cancer Reform Strategy. Not only do we need patient-centred care but also to take the broadest possible look at living with cancer and what matters most to people with that experience, whether that's information or life after treatment."

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