A recent publication has shown cancer survival rates in the UK to be low in comparison to neighbouring countries in Europe. The average one-year survival rate for the UK is 68 per cent, as a country with a long established and respectable National Health Service these statistics are not as good as they should be. At the moment, the UK lags far behind its international and European neighbours in cancer survival. By 2020, almost half of people will receive a cancer diagnosis during their lifetime. The presentation of the one-year survival figures is a powerful tool to measure the performance of the local NHS and ensure crucial improvements are made for people with cancer.
Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham and Rainham who is running a campaign for more investment into the local NHS has met with the Clinical Commissioning Groups for both Havering and Barking & Dagenham on numerous occasions, and will now be contacting them regarding the importance of improving earlier cancer diagnosis. The latest report highlights that Barking and Dagenham has one of the lowest one-year survival rates in our NHS England Local Region at 62 per cent and Havering is just falling short of the UK average at 66 per cent. Some areas such as Westminster and Barnet reach numbers such as 74 per cent, higher than the national average.
Local MP for Dagenham and Rainham Jon Cruddas is keen to promote the importance of early diagnosis, posing the question that if the majority of diagnoses are given at A&E, is this the right time to be reducing services at King George Hospital and increasing pressure on Queen's Hospital?
Jon Cruddas said: "We know that early diagnosis of cancer leads to better survival rates. The recent statistics for our area show that there is much we need to improve on. This week I will be writing to the Clinical Commissioning Groups for both Havering and Barking & Dagenham asking for an update on their initiatives to encourage early diagnosis.
"Working on behalf of local patients with the CCG's and the local NHS Trust, the aim will be to improve services, detecting cancer at the earliest stages to give people in our area the best chance in their fight against cancer. I am currently running a campaign to get more investment for our local NHS provision, which if successful will help to improve the current services."
The campaign to improve services and raise awareness is being run by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer (APPGC). Jon fully supports the campaign which is bringing together MP's from across the country and the political spectrum to improve cancer services in the United Kingdom.
You can join Jon's campaign for more local health investment here: http://www.joncruddas.org.uk/call-more-health-provision-rainham