Cancer: Health Services

(asked on 11th February 2020) - View Source

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking improve cancer treatment in the (a) Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust and (b) Royal Marsden NHS Trust.

Answered by
Jo Churchill Portrait
Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
This question was answered on 19th February 2020

Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust has a strong track record of providing high quality care to people with suspected or confirmed cases of cancer in a timely manner. Last year, the Trust met all of the waiting time standards we expect for cancer patients, including seeing 97.2% of patients with a suspected cancer within two weeks of their general practitioners (GPs) referral, 99.1% of patients began treatment with 31 days of diagnosis, and 89% of patients began treatment within 62 days of their initial referral.

Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust is working on plans to improve the patient’s experience through their cancer journey. This includes access to a clinical nurse specialist or key worker, and they have recently appointed three Advanced Nurse Practitioners and funding approved to increase number of clinical nurse specialists. The Trust is introducing ‘Living With and Beyond Cancer’ – a new work stream to improve patient experience and care beyond their diagnosis and initial treatment and improving quality of life for those living with cancer. This includes NHS England and NHS Improvement data collection on long term quality of life metrics, stratified follow up pathways, reducing and managing long term outcomes of treatment, and Holistic Needs Assessments.

The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust is a research active organisation, with an academic partnership with The Institute of Cancer Research, and, together, are ranked third in the world for impact of their research. The Royal Marsden is continually looking to improve the treatment options and facilities they offer to patients, including the first linear accelerators (LINAC) in the country and third in the world, which is now treating patients across six tumour types as part of clinical trials.

The Royal Marsden is also the host of RM Partners, the only cancer alliance in England to achieve the 62 day target consistently during 2018/19 and which was awarded a further £10 million in funding from NHS England to continue to improve cancer outcomes for the population across west London.

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