The NHS Long Term Plan, published on 7th January, sets out the ambition to save half a  million lives with practical action to prevent diseases such as strokes, heart problems and cancer and detecting them earlier to improve the chances of survival.  The plan will also be delivered through investment in cutting edge treatments including genomic tests for every child with cancer.

NHS England sets out its commitment to the transformation of cancer care so that from 2028, an extra 55,000 people each year will survive for five years or more following their cancer diagnosis, with three out of four cancers (75%) diagnosed at an early stage.

The Long Term Plan provides the opportunity to accelerate improvements through earlier diagnosis, innovative screening and treatment, cutting edge research and technology and ongoing support for people living with and beyond cancer.

Milestones for cancer include:

  • From 2019 new Rapid Diagnostic Centres will start to roll out across the country.
  • In 2020 a new faster diagnosis standard for cancer will begin to be introduced so that patients receive a definitive diagnosis or ruling out of cancer within 28 days.
  • By 2020, HPV primary screening for cervical cancer will be in place across England.
  • By 2021, where appropriate, every person diagnosed with cancer will have access to personalised care, including needs assessment, a care plan and health and wellbeing information and support.
  • By 2022, the lung health check model will be extended.
  • By 2023, stratified follow-up pathways for people who are worried their cancer may have recurred.  These will be in place for all clinically appropriate cancers.
  • By 2028, the NHS will diagnose 75% of cancers at stage 1 or 2.
Dr Chris Warburton, Cancer Alliance Medical Director said: "We are pleased to see the continued focus on improving clinical outcomes for patients. The Alliance is well positioned to ensure that the amibitions of the NHS long term plan are delivered by continuing to work in collaboration with partners across Cheshire and Merseyside.  Cancer survival is the highest that it has ever been and our one year survival rates are now higher than the national average.
Despite this progress, we need to continue our efforts to reduce the variation and deliver the best survival outcomes for our patients.  The Long Term Plan gives us the opportunity to accelerate our work to deliver earlier diagnosis, improve survival and ensure that patients receive outstanding care at every stage."
You can read the full document here