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Petition Ensure access to treatment and screening for all cancer patients during Covid-19

I want the Government to make provisions, such as increased funding for the NHS, to ensure cancer patients still receive care including operations, scans, medications and chemotherapy during Covid-19. This should also ensure patients who need to be screened for potential cancers can access this.

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There are thousands of people that a have had treatments and scans paused or delayed for a long time. There are people out there now that have had cancer regrowth and are even now on end-of-life care.

You can’t tell people you’re saving them from a virus by shielding then tell them they are having their treatments paused.

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100,000

Government responded

This response was given on 24 November 2020

The NHS is working to restore cancer services as quickly as possible. Cancer Alliances have been allocated £153m to continue delivering treatment in a Covid safe way.

The NHS is working hard to restore cancer services as quickly as possible. From March to September 2020, cancer treatment was maintained at 86% of pre-pandemic levels, and by September more urgent referrals were seen than the same time last year.

As set out in the third phase of the NHS response to COVID-19 our priorities for recovering cancer services are increasing urgent cancer referrals, reducing the number of patients waiting longer than 31 and 62 days for treatments or diagnostics, and ensuring capacity is in place for patients returning to the system in winter. This will be done alongside continued vigilance in light of any further COVID-19 surges.

A newly formed Cancer Recovery Taskforce, bringing together stakeholders and experts from across the cancer community, is overseeing the development of the cancer recovery plan, including considering any impact of a ‘second wave’ and review progress against objectives.

To ensure essential and urgent treatment for all cancers have continued throughout the response to the pandemic, COVID-protected surgical hubs have been established for cancer surgery across the country to keep often vulnerable cancer patients safe. This particularly protects cancer patients from immunocompromised infection. All 21 Cancer Alliances across England now have arrangements in place for cancer hubs.

On 3rd August 2020, NHS England and Improvement (NHSE/I) announced that ‘COVID-friendly’ cancer treatments that are safer for patients during the pandemic will be expanded and extended through a £160 million initiative. The funding will pay for drugs that treat patients without having such a big impact on their immune system or offer other benefits such as fewer hospital visits.

NHSE/I has recently confirmed annual funding allocations of £153million for 2020-21 to the Cancer Alliances in England. 

NHSE/I did not provide direction at a national level to suspend NHS screening programmes in England during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, NHS Breast, Bowel and Cervical cancer screening services have been affected by a range of clinical and operational impacts during COVID-19, and as a result, some services at a local level rescheduled appointments and invitations.

NHSE/I is now working with service providers to ensure that services are safely restored to minimise any risk to individual patients. The backlog of people in cancer screening pathways is reducing, and there is a continued focus on sending out invites for routine screening appointments that were previously delayed.

Department of Health and Social Care

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At 100,000 signatures, this petition will be considered for debate in Parliament

Other parliamentary business

MPs to debate the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the lung cancer pathway

MPs will debate the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the lung cancer pathway on Wednesday 2 December in Westminster Hall.

This will be a general debate. General debates allow MPs to debate important issues, however they do not end in a vote nor can they change the law.

The debate will start at 4.00pm and last for 30 minutes.

Watch the debate here: https://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/0e5de682-671f-46f3-a746-008d551b4160

Find out more about how Parliamentary debates work: https://www.parliament.uk/about/how/business/debates/

MPs to debate the effect of the Covid-19 outbreak on breast cancer diagnosis and services

MPs will debate the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on breast cancer diagnosis and the future of breast cancer services this Thursday 12 November in Westminster Hall. The subject of the debate has been determined by the Backbench Business Committee.

This will be a general debate. General debates allow MPs to debate important issues, however they do not end in a vote nor can they change the law.

The debate will start at 1.30pm and last for 90 minutes.

Watch here this Thursday: https://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/9c994129-192c-4239-9a1f-8e4724d4d71b

Find out more about how Parliamentary debates work: https://www.parliament.uk/about/how/business/debates/
Find out more about the Backbench Business Committee: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/202/backbench-business-committee/

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