Thank you for contacting me about the #CatchUpWithCancer Campaign.
As you point out, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on waiting times for cancer diagnosis and treatment over the past two years.
Let me assure you that I share the commitment of the campaign to see waiting lists for cancer treatment and care to be reduced over the next few years as do Ministers.
In recent months, the Government has brought forward funding to help recover cancer services, and a plan that outlines how that funding will be spent effectively.
Last year it was announced that nearly £6 billion is being put towards capital investment for new beds, equipment and technology. This funding will contribute towards expanding mobile diagnostics for cancer and upgrading MRI and screening technology.
The expansion of elective capacity will focus on rolling out new and innovative forms of radiotherapy to deliver treatment in a more targeted and intensive way, meaning cancer patients spend less time in Hospital.
It is right that this funding comes with high expectations for reducing cancer waiting times. By March 2024, the NHS has set an ambition for 75 per cent of patients who have been urgently referred by their GP for suspected cancer to be diagnosed or have cancer ruled out within 28 days.
Any constituents with concerns about their own care and who feel that I might be able to help by making enquiries or representations on their behalf should contact my office to see if we can raise those concerns as individual cases.
With reference to the Cancer Summit, while I endeavour to attend as many events as possible, it is not possible, unfortunately, to attend all of them. However, I do recognise, as I am sure most people do, just how much this issue matters and I will follow developments as closely as possible. Moreover, MPs are able to meet Ministers frequently and make their constituents’ concerns known.
Thank you once again for taking the time to contact me.
Craig Whittaker MP