NHS England has announced the new Five Year Forward View ‘Next Steps’ Plan to further improve cancer survival by an extra 5,000 people.
The plan will also enhance experience of care over the next two years, with several improvements.
As part of the improvements, patients will receive better access to the latest treatments, with the launch of the radiotherapy upgrade programme involving an additional £94m investment on equipping hospitals with new linear accelerators (LINACs).
NHS England Cancer national director Cally Palmer said: “Two years ago we set ourselves a real challenge to radically improve prevention, earlier diagnosis, and ensure the availability of modern treatments for all patients wherever they live.
“Quality of NHS cancer care continues to improve, with cancer survival at record highs, but there is still variation across the country, which is why our focus now is catching more cancers early when they can be best treated and we are also rolling out guarantee of definitive diagnosis or the all clear within 28 days.”
With investment in greater diagnostic capacity, including ten new rapid diagnostic and assessment centres, patients would receive personalised care and support at the time of treatment.
The Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) president Dr Nicola Strickland commented: “While the plans appear to address the need to speed up and expand diagnostic capacity and promise continued investment in radiotherapy services, they will still fail to enable the outcomes envisaged by the English Cancer Strategy as the workforce needed to deliver them has not been funded.”